Partner Schools


A Common Theme ... Helping The Environment

Learn from other schools! Inspire your students! See what other schools that have taken on the U•Konserve Waste-Free Challenge are doing! Share ideas and connect with others! Send us details about what your school is doing to stop waste and educate on the importance of REUSE at your school and start receiving a 20% discount on all U•Konserve reusable products for your school!


Alameda Elementary School, Portland, OR

Our Green Team is working hard to reduce waste in our cafeteria by helping our school transition from Styrofoam trays and pre-packaged plastic silverware to washable plastic trays, and stainless-steel silverware with individual napkins and straws. We have waste-free lunch days and rallies, where we challenge our students to bring all reusable containers to school. We had a U•Konserve sale to benefit the Green Team and encourage waste free lunches, and we used the proceeds to benefit our school garden. We are also working to recycle more at school, and to reduce energy consumption. We are going to be starting a Jr. Green Team with students this spring, and we hope to have more involvement and ideas from kids. We also support Bike & Walk to School Day once a month and encourage it every day!

All Saints’ Carden Academy, Riverside, CA

Carden Academy is based on teaching the whole child and believes “life is a joy, as learning should be”. We take pride in this method and philosophy, and as a result, the school community joined together to build five raised beds in support of garden, cooking and science education for its K-6 students. We integrate lessons from the life sciences, enriching the curriculum with real-life applications through gardening and science experiences. Gardening and cooking staff meet with teachers to plan and integrate lesson plans and cross-curricular concepts. As the school touts educating the “whole child”, all lessons reference each other, and the students’ work is displayed throughout the school. We also have a Zero Waste Initiative that embraces student health, nutrition, and their overall understanding of the connections between what is learned and the important applications practiced in their daily life.

Barnert Temple Preschool & Family Center, Franklin Lakes, NJ

Barnert Temple Preschool & Family Center has long believed in the Concept of Tikkun Olam: Our responsibility to take care of the Earth. In that spirit we have embarked on several environmental projects. On Earth Day we started a parent-awareness campaign to encourage parents to pack lunches in reusable containers instead of using pre-packaged items. The students made signs that had yogurt containers and plastic packaging from one day’s lunch. The sign read “One Day in a Lunchbox = A Lifetime in a Landfill”. We think this campaign has reduced packaging by about 30% and we try to improve that percentage every year. We advocate using reusable plates, cups, and utensils in place of disposables for school lunches. We compost all lunch and snack leftovers. We have a large garden to promote healthy eating, respect for the Earth, and multi-generational interaction. We also promote school-wide recycling of paper and plastic, and the teachers use recycled materials for as many art projects as possible.

Benjamin Franklin Elementary, Glen Ellyn, IL

In one day, Ben Franklin produces approximately 26 pounds of food waste. Over the entire school year, this amounts to 4,160 pounds! While many families have taken steps to become more environmentally focused, only 11.5 pounds of our daily lunch waste is recyclable. As a result, we launched a waste-free lunch program in an effort to dramatically reduce the waste generated by our students. On Wednesdays, all students are required to bring a waste-free lunch. We are hoping this will lead to waste-free everyday, but one step at a time. In addition to the benefit for the environment, we are also aiming to educate our kids on the importance of taking care of our planet by reducing, reusing and recycling. We keep the families of our students informed to support our efforts, encourage them to be active participants in our quest to reduce waste, and we hope to educate and excite the kids to make this happen!

Boulder Journey School, Boulder, CO

At Boulder Journey School, we are inspired by the philosophy of Reggio Emilia, and by the value of found materials. As a result, we make every effort to use recycled and natural materials. Keeping in line with our school philosophy and values, as well as both those of our families and the Boulder community, we recycle, compost, and reuse as much as we can. Our goal is to implement waste-free lunches by Earth Day 2011. We currently provide two waste-free snacks during the day, using reusable dishes, cups, and silverware. Many of our families and faculty currently bring waste-free lunches to school each day. We hope that our entire school community will take advantage of the convenient and reusable products U•Konserve has to offer. In addition to implementing waste-free lunches, Boulder Journey School works to make many eco-friendly choices. We are in the process of applying for Eco-Healthy Childcare Certification created by the Oregon Environmental Council. We have 100% paper-free communication with parents, our parking lot is an idle-free zone, and we encourage all families and faculty to carpool or utilize other modes of transportation to school, such as walking, biking or riding the bus.

The Dogwood School, Chester, NJ

At The Dogwood School we are planning a waste-free lunch fundraiser for Earth Day. Last year we sold stainless steel water bottles for Earth Day and used the profits to purchase a composter for our garden. The children who stay for lunch can now bring their water bottles and avoid juice boxes. They also compost their vegetable peels and fruit. We have a gardening class that created a garden area last year. This year we will use the composted soil to start the garden. We also purchased a rain barrel for the gutters and we water the garden by using the rainwater.

Griffith High School and Middle School, Griffith, IN

Here at the Griffith High School and Middle School Library, we promote reduction of waste by creating displays about the 3 Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle. Once a year we make a board that highlights items that people throw in the garbage, and how those items could be reused to reduce garbage. In the library collection, we have books about green careers and environmental issues and we make sure to highlight those in our displays. In addition, we have created the 3R Table. It is just outside the library, and the table serves as a place where students and staff can leave items that they no longer want or use, but are not suitable for the garbage. We try to get the kids to see that by utilizing the table, they are helping the environment and reducing clutter in their lives. Students and staff bring everything from books to media items to house wares. We would like to see our school become even more aware of the issues surrounding the prevention of waste in our society. Every little bit helps!

Hershey Montessori School, Concord Township, OH

Hershey Montessori has been promoting waste-free lunches for many years, and we have noticed a great reduction in the trash from children’s lunches. We strongly encourage families to use stainless steel, glass or other safe and reusable containers to pack their food, and we have compost bins in every class that the children take out to our large garden composting bins each day. An active and passionate Nutrition Committee was formed two years ago, made up of faculty, parents and our Head of School. They have been doing a great deal of research on all things having to do with the food we consume, and how harmful the presence of plastic is in our lives (and food!). Our middle school campus in located on a working farm, where the students raise and care for the animals and garden beds that make up a good deal of their food source. The students help prepare every meal, and conscious and healthy living is at the forefront of their experience there. In our back-to-school email we try to include several suggested lunchbox solutions that promote the message of earth-friendly, kid-friendly and healthy lunches, and include the U•Konserve line!

Hillsmere Elementary School, Annapolis, MD

Hillsmere was designated a Maryland Green School in 2009. We have worked hard to ensure that all recyclable material is kept out of the trash. The kids and teachers work together to make sure only food waste is thrown away at lunch. Each classroom has a recycling bin that is emptied during the day to encourage the maximum amount of recycling. Recycling education is incorporated into everyday classroom activities. Hillsmere also has a recycling dumpster that the surrounding community can use to correctly dispose of their recycling.

Katherine Delmar Burke School, San Francisco, CA

Burke’s and the Burke’s Parents’ Association are committed to minimizing our impact on the environment and are taking steps to embrace this commitment. Here are three examples of how we strive to “Be Green” at Burke’s: 1) Bus to School: Bus to Burke’s week is a resounding success! We average 50 girls a day, resulting in an estimated 30 less car trips per day. This is an empowering experience for a lot of the girls: for some, venturing out on their first bus trip and, for others, leaving their parents at the designated stops to journey with their friends to Burke’s. 2)vPack waste-free lunches for your kids! If you pack your child’s lunch, Burke’s has both compost and recycle bins in the lunchroom. No need to send anything to the landfill! Go waste free. 3) Buy a used uniform! Why buy all new? Be kind to both the environment and your wallet by including at least one used uniform in your daughter’s school wardrobe. Used uniforms are especially good for art class days!

Dixie Elementary School, Ran Rafael, CA

The Dixie Elementary School Green Team’s goal is simple: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot everything possible to reduce waste, decrease purchasing and disposal costs, create a healthier school environment, reduce their carbon footprint, and serve as a model of sustainability for their school and community. Together with parent leadership, students participate in a variety of engaging activities and educational programs, including environmental science and art projects, campus energy audits and water conservation initiatives, special guest speakers, Friday Recycle Days, and leadership initiatives like mentoring fellow students on proper waste sorting and recycling efforts. Last year the Dixie Green Team worked with the local waste-disposal provider to launch a hands-on waste sorting program, no-waste lunch education seminars, and reusable container sales events. The students championed a “Plastics are Forever” campaign emphasizing reducing or eliminating the use of disposable plastics like bottles, containers and bags. As a result of these impressive initiatives, the school saved nearly $2,700 on waste disposal costs!

Miller Elementary School, Bend, OR

At Miller Elementary, we have waste-free lunch days. First, we keep all the trash from one day of lunch then talk about multiplying that by all the days we are in school, and the number of other schools also creating waste, etc. Then, we try to get kids to bring reusable containers, utensils and napkins. We recycle in the classrooms and the 5th graders made a video about recycling and reusing for all the classes to view. Our school expectations are: Be safe. Be kind. Be responsible. Be green. We are researching composters for our lunch scraps. Our third grade classes built greenhouses and planters from all recycled materials. We are planning our outdoor classroom and our nature trail that will have plant and animal life identifiers. We put together a sustainability committee which includes teachers, administrators, parents and a representative from the local environmental center.

Hopi Elementary School, Phoenix, AZ

Hopi celebrates Earth Day during the entire month April! We think it is much more fun and interesting to have students be the voice, so with the help of the Student Council, Green Team students created short skits about the Earth and the environment. They presented those skits on Hopi Live during April. Students were encouraged to think of their own topic for their skit. They could communicate an idea that helps the environment, present an interesting fact, or talk about something they are currently doing to help the Earth. Examples include: “Did you know that a full bathtub takes about 70 gallons of water, but that a five-minute shower uses only 10-25 gallons? Conserve water and take a short shower!” Web sites such as www.epa.gov/earthday and the kids’ area of www.nationalgeographic.com are great resources. Kids were encouraged to use a simple prop or poster. For example, they might say “Did you know that 22 billion water bottles are thrown away in the United States each year? Use a stainless steel bottle instead!” And, their poster could show 22,000,000,000 written out and they could hold a water bottle. Our two big school-wide pushes for April were to encourage walking, biking, carpooling or public transportation; and to reduce lunchtime waste by encouraging litter-less lunches. We’ll passed out stickers at lunch to students who pack a zero-waste lunch. We also had some family and classroom contests going on to keep things lively!

Montessori Children’s School, Jacksonville, NC

On top of already recycling everything that we can, we offer a fundraiser each year to offer sandwich wraps to parents to encourage them to stop using plastic bags when packing their child's lunch. Also our school has been chosen to be one of 20 business in the whole city of Jacksonville, NC to participate in the new Commercial Recycling Program that they are offering which will enable us to be as "sustainable as possible". The school is very excited to help lead the way in our community toward a cleaner environment!

Montessori de Terra Linda, San Rafael, CA

Montessori de Terra Linda has truly embraced the three "Rs." Over the last year, a new Board committee was formed called the Green Committee. This group of energized and forward-thinking parents put together a plan, in coordination with the mission and vision of our school, to help create an environment of health and sustainability throughout our campus and community. They are passionate about what connects everyone: our children, our school, our earth and our food. Our school was recently recognized as a certified Green Business in Marin County. These are just some of the climate-friendly measures that the school is now undertaking: Conserving energy with fluorescent lights and Energy Star equipment; reducing waste at the landfill (and methane gas emissions) by recycling, composting and buying products with recycled content; conserving water (and the energy to deliver it) with low-flow toilets and drought tolerant plants; conserving fuel by taking public transit or by riding your bike.
We also started a wonderful blog, Wisteria Pod, full of green tips and ideas for our families and the community, and we have a beautiful garden that provides snacks for the kids!

Neil Cummins Elementary, Larkspur, CA

The Eco Hawks Green Team at Neil Cummins School worked on a project to encourage students to bring waste-free lunches and snacks to school. We wanted the students to be able to relate to our message, and make it visible and personal. So, using our math skills, we calculated that if every one of the 670 students used just ONE Ziploc bag a day (the average is probably closer to three bags per student per day), then each student would use about two 100-bag boxes of Ziplocs each year. Each year, the students use 134,000 bags (or 1,340 boxes)! If these boxes were stacked up, they would measure 447 feet high (or 1,341 feet high if based on three Ziplocs per student per day)! We concluded that if every student used just ONE bag per day, the Ziploc boxes would cover the length of our gym four-and-one-half times (or more than 13 times if based on three Ziplocs per student per day). And, that ONE Ziploc bag takes 10-20 years to decompose in our landfills!

Odyssey Charter School, Wilmington, DE

For Earth Day, we had students and parents sign a pledge to pack a waste-free lunch: “With Earth Day approaching, many of us are asking ourselves: What can I do to help the Earth? The answer is in an everyday task. It has been estimated, that on average, a school-age child using a disposable lunch generates 67 pounds of waste per school year. That equates to 18,760 pounds of lunch waste for just one average-size elementary school. This means a lot for a school like Odyssey Charter School, where one hundred percent of the students pack a lunch. This year, the Health and Wellness Committee, would like to propose a zero trash lunch day on Earth Day. There are many ways to achieve a zero waste lunch. For example, use reusable containers like a stainless steel water bottle or pack an apple for a snack. Also, many retailers offer products that can help you achieve this goal. www.kidskonserve.com has many reusable items available. In addition, if you type in our coupon code at checkout, you will receive a discount. The wonderful thing is once you have the system in place, it will be easy to utilize it in the future, you will save money, and you will pack healthier lunches. By signing this pledge form, my child, (child’s name here), pledges to pack a zero waste lunch on April 22, 2011 in the hopes of making the world a greener place.”

Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary, Carlsbad, CA

To initiate our lunch program, students attended an educational recycling assembly hosted by the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation where they learned about our local environment, the pollution we produce and how landfills work. They also learned how they can help combat pollution with our new “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot” initiative. We gave parents simple ideas to help support our initiative: 1) Reduce: Pack lunch in a reusable lunchbox rather than a paper bag. Even though paper bags are recyclable, they are one-time use items. Valuable energy and resources can be saved by limiting one-time use items. 2) Reuse: Pack lunch using reusable containers and cutlery. Every school day our students throw out almost 200 plastic baggies, which is 36,000 baggies in the trash every school year! 3) Recycle: Encourage your kids to recycle non-reusable items in their lunch at our new recycling stations. We collect non-organic waste like plastics, paper and aluminum. 4) Rot: Recycle organic waste. We bring it to the garden composters to benefit the greenhouse, garden science programs, and the soil. However, during one lunch period alone, over 36 pounds of unopened food is thrown out, which is 6,500 pounds of food each year! Encourage students to bring unopened food home so that it can be repacked or eaten later. To build on the initiative, the PTA sponsored a "Go Green Sale" in the Spring where families could purchase reusable lunchboxes, water bottles and shopping bags.

Our Lady of Sorrows Elementary School, Farmington, MI

Our Lady of Sorrows Elementary has a campaign at school to reduce the amount of waste generated by classroom parties. We promote the use of reusable plates, cups, cutlery and napkins by offering a U•Konserve discount to parents. We also recognize and congratulate those classrooms that are switching to waste-free products. We also set up a Green Team table at our school’s open house with a U•Konserve catalog, order forms, samples and custom stainless steel logo bottles. We were geared up to educate, sell and have fun! Most students use reusable lunch kits and bottles. We have a waste-free lunch challenge every week and measure each lunch period's garbage. We reward the group with the least amount of garbage with a longer recess on Fridays! For Earth Day we did a completely trash-less school day—not one garbage can on campus! We recycle all plastic bottle caps by giving them to Aveda to recycle for their packaging containers. We have a box to recycle little plastic baggies that the lunch program uses for cookies, muffins, etc. We recycle old crayons by melting them and making “rainbow discs” which we donate and sell at our fundraiser.

Robert Muller Center for Living Ethics, Fairview, TX

Part of the mission of the Robert Muller Center for Living Ethics is to be a community of families that help create a new culture of sustainability. By bringing the three Rs of education into a new era of Reverence for all life, Responsibility for the planet and ecological understanding of the Relationships between the whole and its parts, RMCLE believes it can participate in making the world a better place by being the change we wish to see. Each student brings two cloth napkins and two classroom color-coded hand towels at the start of the school year. This eliminates the need for paper napkins for lunch and paper towels for hand-washing in the restrooms. Our washing is done onsite and the items are easily returned to the correct classroom based on the class designated color. All food waste is collected daily in classroom compost buckets and then taken to our school's large compost bins outside. The compost is then used in our community garden. Even our preschoolers learn quickly how food can decompose into useful material which helps the new plants they are tending to grow stronger. Understanding and seeing this cycle in action makes our children diligent in the waste collection phase. To continue the idea that children are more motivated when they understand a process, we have a tour scheduled for the students at our new local recycling center. Children will be able to see how glass, aluminum, tin, steel, paper, cardboard and plastic containers are divided and broken down into useful materials.

San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco, CA

San Francisco Unified has a dedicated Director of Sustainability charged with creating and communicating a district-wide vision of sustainability for all San Francisco public schools. We established pilot Green Teams in seven district schools, and have a website (www.greenthenextgen.com) and monthly newsletter to keep district change-makers informed about our successes. We've established partnerships with multiple non-profit and city agencies to enhance and strengthen our efforts. Local agencies provide water, waste, and energy audits for each school. We currently have policies on waste diversion, CHPS, healthy commutes, Earth Hour, Bike to School Day, nutrition, and Tools for Schools. We've provided the Green Teams with multiple resources, and have asked them to implement preliminary resource saving measures, which should help us realize savings right away. Green cleaning was implemented in 43 schools last year and there are garden programs at 85 schools. We've implemented a tree planting campaign in collaboration with Friends of the Urban Forest, SF Green Schoolyard Alliance, and the Mayor's Office of Greening. We aim to plant 2012 new trees in and around SF schools by 2012. We also launched the first annual San Francisco Bike to School Day, and district schools participated in the Earth Hour Challenge. There are 70 schools currently composting food waste, a 40% increase from 2005. The Green Team at Rosa Parks School is now busy planning the projects that will green their school, including the installation of solar panels, a green roof, and new recycling bins. The Willie Brown Jr. Academy threw a garden party to honor community supporters on June 1st. The school garden was bursting with ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, flowers, plums, apples, and succulents. The garden is a thriving example of similar programs at numerous SF public schools that incorporate the students' regular curriculum by teaching them about biology, geology, ecology, and agriculture, using gardens as a backdrop. McKinley Elementary recently received a grant from the Public Utilities Commission in conjunction with Rebuilding Together to install a cistern in order to water the native plant garden with catchment water. The gardening committee is also planning classroom vegetable gardens. Mission High School students held their first-ever Green Prom, with prom-goers generating power for the speakers, recycled materials used for decorations, and party waste largely diverted from the landfill.

Sangster Elementary School, Springfield, VA

Sangster sold stainless steel reusable bottles to encourage their students and staff to reduce plastic bottle waste. During a No Waste Lunch Initiative we reduced the amount of garbage going to landfill from 14 bags down to 10 bags! We are actively participating in Cool the Earth, and have been busy recycling, reusing and reducing. We have 181 students participating in the program and have completed 643 actions.

Schools of the Sacred Heart: Convent and Stuart Hall, San Francisco, CA

The Convent & Stuart Hall Eco-Council is composed of teachers, administrators, staff and parents, and all are committed to being good stewards of the environment. The large group is divided into four teams: Recycling/Composting, Conservation (paper, electricity, heat, etc), Water (filtration possibilities and plastic elimination) and Alternative Energy (long-range solar ideas). Each team is guided by four areas of focus: Resourcing, Cost, Health and Education/Communication. Our community efforts to reduce waste and consumption marked an important milestone during the fall semester, saving the school significant money and reducing its carbon footprint. By eliminating one of three dumpsters, according to Facilities Director, we saved $2,300 per month, which equates to $27,600 each year. With increased education and awareness schoolwide, students and adults have done a better job putting recycling and composting into the appropriate bins, instead of trashing everything. The facilities team, working with the Eco-Council, installed receptacles for trash, recycling and composting, and students have made signs to help people sort their waste properly.
 In honor of Earth Day 2011, the Eco-Council asked parents to do something simple: Think about less. Less stuff, less traffic, less mess, less noise, less packaging, less waste, less everything. This is the year when less is more. During Earth Week, we promoted a week of activities. Students earned stamps in their Green Passports for taking part in our green activities like bringing a waste-free lunch, reducing their car trips, and recycling cell phones and batteries. At the end of the week, Passports were turned in for a raffle with great (green!) prizes. We talked trash at our school assemblies, and had an Innovation Fair where fifth grade boys investigated everything from how to conserve electricity to how to make the water fountains on campus generate electricity.

Sequoyah School, Pasadena, CA

At Sequoyah School, our Sustainable Campus Committee encourages our students to apply for the committee’s grant funds for their own sustainable ideas on campus. We have a strong focus on reducing waste, including a low/zero waste policy for all school events by using reusable dishes, plates, cups, utensils and napkins. We provide low/zero waste lunch packing guidelines, offer discounted reusable lunch containers and advertise the cost savings of buying in bulk. We promote our low/zero waste lunch program with Waste-Less Wednesdays and a Waste-Free Lunch Kit Pop-Up Store. We also expanded our compost program to include paper and other materials, we vermicompost, and send excess scraps to a nearby farm. We advocate using less paper at school by utilizing electronic communication and reuse when possible before recycling (especially supplies like paper, cardboard and stationery). Before purchasing, we consider: trading, borrowing/renting, buying used, and then buying new. We also take packaging into account when purchasing, buy in bulk when possible, buy reusable items, buy goods made of recycled content in recycled packaging, buy higher quality products that last longer, buy locally made products, and participate in “take-back” programs. In recognition of our efforts, our school recently received the City of Pasadena Dept. of Public Works Outstanding Recycler Award!

St. Paul of the Cross School, Park Ridge, IL

St. Paul of the Cross School’s Green Team focuses on instilling a campus-wide deep consideration for the Earth. We are guided by several goals, including raising awareness to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and building a quality lunch program that strives to be waste-free. All Wednesdays are “Waste Free Wednesdays”, we will be building “Trash Monsters” from recyclable items, and swapping books to promote reuse. To encourage reducing and reusing, we ask parents to buy in bulk, and pack reusable storage containers, reusable sandwich wraps, reusable utensils, and cloth napkins. We remind parents that packing a waste free lunch not only saves the Earth, it saves money: Replacing paper napkins with cloth napkins saves $1.68 per week which is roughly $67 per child per year! A lunch packed with reusable items is typically 45% less expensive and contains 89% less waste than a lunch packed with single-use items. In fact, 18,760 pounds of trash is generated from the average elementary school and parents spend $250 annually on disposable lunch materials! Our teachers work hard to bring this awareness into the classrooms. One teacher had a special workshop discussing recycling and another class sang a song to the tune of itsy bitsy spider: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle—words that we all know. We have to save our planet so we can live and grow. We might be only children But we will try, you’ll see. And we can save this planet—It starts with you and me!”

Strawberry Point Elementary School, Mill Valley, CA

Strawberry Point is extremely fortunate to be located right on San Francisco Bay, and have both a tidal and a seasonal wetland on school property. We also have a learning garden on campus, where the kids grow vegetables that they eat. To take advantage of all this, the PTA sponsors a naturalist, who is on staff three days a week, working with the kids in the wetlands and the garden, and making them more aware of their beautiful natural environment. A natural outgrowth of all this was the school’s Green Team, which was formed several years ago. A dedicated group of students work with parents and a teacher advisor to educate the student body about how their trash should be disposed. Much of the food waste goes to the compost bin in the school garden, and we recycle what we can. The Green Team has displayed bags of lunch trash outside assemblies so the kids can see how the trash piles up. Classes also take turns picking up trash around the school every few days. We also introduced a Zero Waste Lunch initiative to help dramatically reduce our lunchtime trash. We had a waste-free lunch sale at school to give parents options for quality reusable lunch products to support this initiative. Other environmental initiatives include Green Ways to School, field trips to the local dump and to the Audubon Society, green assemblies, etc. We are moving toward all communication being done by email, as well.

Sunstone Montessori School, Portland, OR

As a certified Oregon Green School, Sunstone Montessori has a long list of accomplishments! Our Green Team focuses on waste reduction and works on many projects around school to save resources, landfill space and school funds. We performed waste audits, reduced our garbage by 20% and increased our recycling effort by 15%. We educated our families on the importance of packing waste-free lunches, set up reusable dishtowel and cloth napkin sets for each classroom, increased the post-consumer content of our paper towels and office paper, set up color-coded bin systems for garbage/compost/recycling, switched to paperless billing and invoices, and set up collection bins for scrap paper in the classrooms. To conserve energy and water, we installed aerators on all sinks and installed CFL light bulbs around campus. We also were active in the community by joining the Portland Composts! Program, participating in the Northwest Earth Institute Healthy Children Healthy Planet Discussion Group, and their Sense of Place Discussion Group. We performed a Sustainability Audit with the City of Portland’s BEST Business Center and started an Electronics Recycling Program. We have a strong commitment to sustainability so there is more to come!

Torey J. Sabatini Elementary, Madison, NJ

Torey J. Sabatini implements Trashless Thursdays, with the goal of reducing our lunchtime waste to one can every Thursday—which is a reduction of one-third! Some student have taken it to the next level by going trashless every day and reducing their total lunchtime waste to one-third for the whole year! We have been able to foster motivation by giving rewards to kids that have been trashless for a certain number of weeks. Their names are announced and they are given a reusable lunch item to help continue their trashless efforts. We also were given the honor of receiving an award from the Morris County Recycling Commission for our efforts. We have also eliminated our weekly communications envelope by communicating online. Although this has been an adjustment, we have greatly reduced our paper waste. Soon we will start a fourth- and fifth-grade Green Team, with the goal of finding more ways to be green at school and fostering interest in environmental issues.

Wade Thomas Elementary, San Anselmo, CA

The Wade Thomas Green Team members began the year by visiting every classroom and performing skits to educate students about what to do with what's left in their lunch bags after they eat. The Green Team is available at lunch to help all students figure out what goes in the bins: Landfill, Recycling and Compost. The students have become aware that plastic bags, juice boxes and other single-serving packaged food containers go straight to the landfill— and they have helped inspire the students to reduce those items by presenting during assemblies and having a waste-free lunch sale. Every day after lunch the Green Team takes the compost waste to the school garden, dumps everything into our larger compost bins, and covers the contents with leaves to help it turn into rich soil for our garden. Every three months we use the soil for our garden. The Green Team also helps with Safe Routes to School and Cool the Earth. We also participated in a local reuse competition to make something useful out of something that otherwise would have been thrown away. We collected lint, single-use mesh produce bags, and ribbon and fabric scraps, and made something to hang in your garden so that birds have a source of nesting materials.

Westside Waldorf, Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica, CA

In keeping with the Waldorf philosophy, Westside Waldorf is committed to reducing waste wherever possible. Our school policy requires that the children bring reusable lunch products. They bring their lunches in reusable baskets or bags, food is packed in reusable containers (preferable stainless steel or glass), and the students are asked to pack cloth napkins and placemats. In the classroom, teachers use glasses for water rather than paper cups, and use cloth napkins and towels instead of disposables. On the yard, children are asked to bring their own containers so no paper cups are needed. The students are encouraged to take care of the Earth, and part of the Waldorf curriculum is caring for the school gardens. The children plant their own fruits and vegetables, which are incorporated into the food they eat at school. One of the teachers also holds an afternoon gardening class. The school recently started a stewardship program where each class is assigned a part of the school to care for, which is connected with the need to care for the Earth. The main campus recently installed an innovative eco-friendly grass pavement rather than using asphalt for part of the parking lot. The new grass is drought resistant and there is no waste from water run-off.




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