The NRRA School Recycling Club

Northeast Resource Recovery Association

School News You Can Use – November, 2014


  • CLUB News – Mason Elementary Tree Planting
  • In The News – America Recycles Day – November 15
  • EPA News – The CLUB Endorses EPA’s WasteWise
  • Activity – A Bounty of Thanksgiving Crafts
  • Green Calendar

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Mason Elementary School

Scores Gold/Earns Tree


Mason Elementary students celebrate Team Earth tree planting

Mason Elementary Students celebrate Team Earth tree planting


Mason Elemenary students help plant Team Earth tree

Mason Elementary students help plant Team Earth tree

MASON, NH-On Tuesday, October 21, Mason Elementary School students, teachers, staff and guests convened for a tree planting ceremony in the school courtyard. MES recently achieved the Team Earth Gold Award from NRRA’s School Recycling Club (the CLUB). They had to earn 100 recycling activity points and consistently recycle four items to earn a new tree for their school.

With the assistance of Babin Landscaping and funding from NH the Beautiful (NHtB), the CLUB was able to purchase a beautiful eight-foot flowering crabapple tree, which was planted in the school’s courtyard. All of the students contributed a handful of dirt as part of the ceremony.


The Babin Landscaping family assist with placement and planting.

The Babin Landscaping family assist with placement and planting in MES courtyard

Babin Landscaping has been a long-time supporter of Mason Elementary projects and was represented by David & Marci Babin, whose sons are students at MES.

Representing NH the Beautiful at the ceremony was Paula Dow, Administrative Manager of NRRA. Gwen Erley, NRRA Programs Coordinator recognized the students’ achievement of the first ever tree planting by the Team Earth Program, and the first Gold Award since 2008.



MES Teacher Laura Hooper and MES Facility Manager Rick Griffith next to recycled metal scuplture, also located in the courtyard

MES Teacher Laura Hooper and MES Facility Manager Rick Griffith next to recycled metal scuplture, also located in the courtyard

After planting was completed, NRRA/NHtB representatives were given a tour of the school by Facility Manager Rick Griffith. Students in Mrs. Hooper’s class sang two recycling songs while playing their Trash Can Band instruments, made entirely of recycled items.

To hear the students singing their recycling songs, go to this link:


Special thanks to Mason Teacher Laura Hooper, who organized the ceremony.

Team Earth is a program developed to recognize CLUB members (and offer awards) for the great work they are doing in the world of school recycling. The Team Earth Awards have three levels of recognition: “Bronze”, “Silver” and “Gold.” The level of award is directly dependent on how proactive a school recycling Club is with regard to how many items it recycles, how actively it promotes its program, educating people on the importance of recycling, etc. For each recycling activity a Club undertakes it receives Team Earth points. It is through these points that a school can reach for the “Gold” and receive the highest level of school recycling recognition awarded.

If you are interested in the Team Earth Program, click here for more information:



 Weston Elementary Students

Trained as Garbage Guerillas

Teacher Jessica Huard introduces NRRA CLUB Educator Cindy Sterling

Teacher Jessica Huard (left) introduces NRRA CLUB Educator Cindy Sterling (right)

Manchester, NH –Weston Elementary School hosted two Garbage Guerillas Workshops on Oct. 27. These workshops trained students how to identify recyclables from actual trash.

NRRA School CLUB Instructor Cindy Sterling first read them a a poem by Shel Silverstein about a little girl, “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout,” who did not take the garbage out, creating a huge mess. Cindy then distributed items from her “trash” bag to all the students. Each item was then “sorted” and recycled or reused until all the items were gone and no trash was left.

The students asked lots of questions and learned that diverting recyclables would save energy, the environment and landfill space.

Garbage Guerillas is the workshop version of our very popular Trash On the Lawn Day “TOLD”. Rather than sorting all the waste from a day, participants collect small working samples of waste, which are audited and analyzed. All of our workshops can be geared to any grade level or age group.

NRRA Educator Cindy Sterling hands out "trash" for sorting & recycling

NRRA Educator Cindy Sterling hands out “trash” for sorting & recycling


Special thanks to Weston Teacher Jessica Huard, who organized the workshops.


The Weston Paper Monster reminds students to recycle their scrap paper

The Weston Paper Monster reminds students to recycle their scrap paper















NRRA CLUB applergclipped

Would you like to host a TOLD, Garbage Guerillas or another Workshop at your school? Let the CLUB Help!

  • Improves academic performance, especially in science and math
  • Can lead to financial savings for schools
  • Decreases the school’s carbon footprint through practical solutions that reduce energy and water consumption
  • Reduces school waste and conserves natural resources
  • Encourages student environmental awareness and stewardship
  • Increases parental involvement
  • Helps students and teachers develop stronger relationships with their communities

Previous EPA EE-funded research at over 200 New England schools completed by the NRRA School Recycling CLUB (the CLUB) found that the single most challenging area for school recycling programs was in providing curriculum integrations that brought recycling and sustainability into classrooms to be used as the subject matter for meeting state and local curriculum standards.  The intention of the CLUB programs is to address just that issue in schools across all six New England states. Our goal is to use the CLUB’s workshops and technical assistance programs, all experiential and hands on, as a tool for educating K-12 students about consumption, proper diversion of waste, the resulting impacts on climate change and what they can do to change it.  Through these offerings, we are also afforded the opportunity to link these priorities to curriculum standards.  In addition, these workshops will model, for educators or community leaders, exemplary ways of teaching in creative, effective, and efficient methods about human health threats from environmental pollution as well as how to minimize human exposure to preserve good health. Click here to learn more or contact us at or call 1.603.736.4401 ext. 19



IN THE NEWSnewspaper


 November 15 – America Recycles Day

America Recycles Logo
America Recycles Day (ARD) is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and buy recycled products.

ARD is celebrated annually on November 15. Thousands of events are held across the U.S. to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and to encourage American to sign personal pledges to recycle and buy products made from recycled materials.


Started by the recycling sector organization National Recycling Coalition in 1997, America Recycles Day Logo-KAB w URLlargehas been a program of national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful since 2009. As the managing entity of America Recycles Day, Keep America Beautiful provides promotional and marketing support and resources to a network of local event organizers. It is sponsored by private and public entities and the EPA.


For help organizing an event or to learn more, click HERE.




Geography Awareness Week

Launches Nov. 15


Terrestrial_globe.svgNH Geographic Alliance invites you to celebrate Geography Awareness Week Kick-off with them on Saturday, November 15th, 8:30A- 1:30P at Conval Regional High School on Route 202 in Peterborough!

This year’s topic is “Food, Glorious Food!”and the Kick-off combines the exploration of the global role of food with our Giant Map of Asia tour to bring you a range of fascinating and fun topics, lessons, and ideas to bring back to your classroom!

The morning of activities at Conval HS is followed by Mariposa Museum’s Annual Geography Challenge at the Peterborough Town House 1:30 – 4:30. Both events are FREE!

Details about the Kick Off Event are posted on You can also follow us on Facebook: New Hampshire Geographic Alliance. For information about the Geography Challenge, contact the Mariposa Museum at 603-924-4555.



 Teens for Jeans

 Collecting Jeans for Homeless Teens


From our friends at

The Problem
Over a million young people experience homelessness in the US every year. One item they often request? A pair of jeans.
The Solution
Run a gently-used jeans drive in your school or community! You’ll be blue jeans imageproviding an essential clothing item for kids and teens in need.
Jeans are the perfect item to donate. They can be worn multiple times between washes, can be dressed up or dressed down, and provide a sense of normalcy to the person wearing them.
What You Get
Sign up for facts on youth homelessness and tips on running the best jeans drive. You’ll also receive a free poster to get the word out. Plus, you can enter for a chance to win money for your school (and a performance by a mystery band) and an individual scholarship!
Run a jeans drive and help homeless youth.


2014WasteWise logo_color_voluntary EPA NEWS


The CLUB Endorses WasteWise

NRRA’s School Recycling CLUB has signed on to be an Endorser of the EPA’s WasteWise Program. The WasteWise Program helps organizations and businesses apply sustainable materials management practices to reduce municipal and select industrial wastes. To learn more, go to:

If you should decide to join WasteWise, please be sure to mention the NRRA School Recycling Club!



 EPA Celebrates Food Recovery Week Nov. 17-21


grocery-bagMost people don’t realize how much food they throw away every day – from uneaten leftovers to spoiled produce. More than 96 percent of the food we throw away ends up in landfills. In 2011, we land-filled more than 36 million tons of food waste. Once in landfills, food breaks down to produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change.

There are many ways you can reduce food waste, for example:
• Shop your refrigerator first! Cook or eat what you already have at home before buying more.
• Plan your menu before you go shopping and buy only those things on your menu.
• Buy only what you realistically need and will use. Buying in bulk only saves money if you are able to use the food before it spoils.
• Compost food scraps rather than throwing them away.
• …and more!

November 17 – 21 is Food Recovery Week. More information and tips about reducing food waste:







NHPPP Promotes Food Scraps for Animals

The NH Pollution Prevention Program (NHPPP) recently created an animated video to promote the “Food FRC HierarchyScraps for Animals” project. This short video, which is targeted to restaurants, explains the benefits of saving pre-consumer food scraps for local farmers to feed to their pigs, chickens and cows. NHPPP is using this video format to reach audiences they may not be able to reach through other media outlets. Check out this video ( and other videos they have created on the NHDES YouTube site.

Pollution Prevention is all about reducing waste at the source. Feed animals is a great way to reduce the waste you generate.
As indicated by this graphic, feeding animals is part of the Food Recovery Hierarchy and WasteWise for the future.






Pine Cone Place Card Holder

There were so many wonderful craft ideas for Thanksgiving that we decided to send you a BOUNTY of them.


Pine Cone Place Card Holder

First of all, we liked this nifty place card holder made out of a pine cone. Pine cones can be decorated with paint or glitter, but why not keep them plain so you can return them to your yard for the squirrels to enjoy?




 Napkin Folding

To be eco-friendly, remember to use cloth napkins at your table, before, during and after the holidays.  Here are some napkin folding ideas for your Thanksgiving table:


Standing Fan Fold


Diamond Pouch Fold




 You can find more ideas and detailed instructions at:




Pilgrim Hat Treats

And finally, a tasty little treat of pilgrim hats to eat:


Pilgrim Hat Marshmallow Treats

For the recipe, go to:




11/15/14America Recycles Day – An initiative of Keep America Beautiful (KAB), America Recycles Day is the only nationally-recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the U.S. For ideas, contact

03/22/15 – World Water Day – To plan your event, see future newsletters and visit

04/22/15 – Earth Day – To plan your event, see future newsletters and visit

04/24/15 – Arbor Day – To plan your event, see future newsletters and visit

06/05/15 – World Environment Day – To plan your event, see future newsletters and visit

06/08/15 – World Oceans Day – To plan your event, see future newsletters and visit

06/09/15NRRA School CLUB Conference – The conference within the conference celebrates schools and students with activities and awards. It will be held at the Radisson in Manchester, NH. Details coming in future newsletters.  


WHAT IS YOUR SCHOOL CLUB UP TO? The NRRA School CLUB always loves to hear what its members and other schools are doing to recycle and help the environment so we can share it through our newsletter. There are so many different things being done, and you are our best source of information about what is working in your school. It can be a new program, a long-term project that’s been proven over time, a field trip, etc. Always feel free to contact me or submit something and you may see it in the next School News You Can Use! – Gwen Erley 1.603.736.4401 ext 19