Make It Clean, Keep It Green!

SRE Green Team

South Rutland Elementary
  • Grade 4
  • Grade 5
Photo Essay (3–10 images)

Community Coach(es): 

Jackie Schaefer (custodian)

Would you like to upload a supporting PDF?: 


Our Green Games project this year is all about waste reduction.  We brainstormed ideas for our name and decided Make It Clean, Keep It Green describes what we do best!  As the leaders of our school, our two 4/5 classes wanted to focus our project on ways to reduce the garbage we make.  We noticed that a lot of things were being thrown out that could be recycled, reused, or repurposed.  We also noticed that many things put into our recycling bins were actually garbage or not properly cleaned and therefore contaminating our recycling!  This made our weekly recycling job with Mrs. Schaefer, our custodian, a lot harder, and inspired us to want to find ways to reduce the waste we were seeing.  We brainstormed ideas and decided that along with the things we always do like composting our organics, and using reusable cups for water, we could also write a newsletter to teach our school community more about recycling.  When we started researching for the newsletter we did not realize how many things we do and use at school were damaging to our environment.  Fundraising activities like hot lunches, popcorn sales and special events all brought in much needed revenue for our school but they also created garbage.  The fact that around 57 million straws are used in Canada daily was alarming!  Art projects that we love to make, like dioramas, paintings, posters and holiday crafts all used products like glitter, glue and paint that are not recyclable, yet are often thrown into the recycling bin when discarded.  Learning this helped give us focus for the newsletter.  We decided to write about the environmental impacts of disposable items like straws and water bottles and the importance of using alternatives.  We are hoping to have our first newsletter ready to go for March to help our school community learn more about the impact using disposable items has on our environment and why they should recycle.  Knowing that a lot of things are not recycled correctly, we also decided that we needed to do daily checkups on our recycling bins to help teach the younger students (and some adults!) the importance of recycling properly.  Along with collecting the recyclables, writing the newsletters, and composting we regularly go outside and pick up garbage, helping to keep our playing field clean and the birds and other animals safe from plastic and other harmful garbage.  Even though our project is constantly ongoing we have seen results already, so we don't mind.  We know the more we help and educate our school community, the more positive results we will see.  It is important and we feel good knowing we are helping keep our school clean while reducing waste!  Make it clean, keep it green!