Charlotte_Our Journey to Reduced Waste

Our Journey to Reduced Waste
Mrs. Gerson’s Second Grade Class
2012: Learning What Goes Where
At the beginning of 1st grade, composting was
new at school and it was a big change. We
made posters to help us sort classroom and
cafeteria waste into recycling, compost or trash.
At first, we mostly cared about accurate
sorting. We knew that reusing and recycling as
much as possible would help the environment.
The posters helped us sort correctly.
We did well with composting and recycling,
but we still had too much trash. We did a
trash audit to find out why.
We found tons of single serve plastic, milk
cartons and snack packaging.
We knew what we needed to do. REDUCE!
We changed our trash-making habits into
mindful habits; we packed food in lunch boxes
with reusable containers, real flatware, water
bottles, cloth snack bags and napkins.
We paid special attention to planning birthday or
holiday events in our class. We asked parents to
“reduce” by not bringing things that would become
landfill trash.
Recycled paper Valentines.
These cups are compostable.
Creative snacks.
2013: Next Steps
At the beginning of Second Grade, we really had
cut down our trash, but we still had a stubborn
amount of snack packaging. We brainstormed
more about what to do. We asked experts.
We joined forces with Terracycle, a company
that reuses some of our snack packaging that
our families still buy for convenience.
One of many shipments to Terracycle.
We also try to…
Use recycled scrap paper for notes
Use the whiteboard instead of paper
Not waste markers
Not laminate
Print on 2 sides
Blog instead of printing a newsletter
Take the bus
Sort our home waste better
Make things out of leftover materials
Use hand-me-downs
This really worked! We went from a large trash
can to a really small one, without a liner even.
Notice we call it “landfill” now. We think twice,
because stuff that goes there is forever.
The results: our trash from an entire week!
We are proud of our new thinking and all of our
actions. We’ve changed the habits in our
classroom and had a big effect on our families
We wanted to persuade more people so we shared
our ideas and habits with all of the other CCS
classrooms. We realized that we had become leaders
on the journey to reduce waste.
We won’t only do this in second grade, we’ll do this
forever. We want to inspire others to take on these
habits. We really believe that it will make a difference
to our planet.
Thank you for your time! Do you have questions for us?

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