Reduce and Reuse

G&S Team

Walnut Road Elementary
  • Grade 1
Photo Essay (3–10 images)

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The goal of our project has been to educate the students in both of our classes to make changes in their everyday habits that will reduce their environmental impact. Throughout the year, we have been modelling new practices of reducing and reusing in our classrooms and encouraging our students to bring their new ingrained habits to their home life. We chose to focus on reducing and reusing because there were so many ways our grade 1 students could make a positive impact for our environment. Given that our students are so young, we feel successfully ingraining an awareness of how their new habits can positively affect our environment, will create lifelong stewards for our environment.

Some of the actions we have been taking are:

-our students have been collecting used household materials such as cardboard boxes, toilet paper rolls, used craft items, etc. for our weekly creation centres. We have created local animals and plants, Christmas and winter objects, transportation vehicles, etc.

-litter less lunches where re useable containers are almost 100% compliant

-class murals using leftover scrap paper

-cloth bags instead of plastic bags to store each students' extra clothes

-teachers have brought old towels from home to clean water spills to reduce paper towel usage

-paper towels are cut in half to reduce usage

-collecting and reusing traditional one use items such as pie plates, milk cups and yogurt containers for art and organizing

-teachers are reducing paper by photocopying double-sided instead of single-sided and shrinking two 8 1/2 sheets to a single sheet when photocopying. We also reduce paper worksheets by sometimes having our students use individual whiteboards and writing on wipeable plastic sleeves

Our students have learned that they each have a responsibility to help our environment. They have learned that by making small life long changes, we all can reduce our impact on our present and future environment.

The most obvious impact of the project has been the dramatic reduction in our class' daily garbage. By promoting 'Litter Less Lunches' and reducing our usage of paper towels, our janitors no longer have to empty full garbage cans. Our students are proud to see how they have helped reduce our daily garbage. Our future plans are to continue to find new ways to make our classrooms 'Greener' and to have our colleagues take the actions that we are taking in our classrooms.