- Mixed Middle School Grades
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With help from our composter Shrek, and our mobile recycling station Woodie, we are striving 4 a zero waste classroom environment. Our teacher, Mr. Michau really encourages us to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. We have systems in place to recycle and compost almost everything that comes into our classroom. We do this by composting and recycling daily. In the fall of 2019 we had Let’s Talk Trash (our towns garbage education resource team) come into our school. Let's Talk Trash accompanied us in doing a garbage waste audit. We discovered that our school wastes 8 lbs of paper towel weekly into the landfill. As a class, we decided to take ownership in this, we placed paper towel only bins in all of our washrooms and classrooms. March 1st, 2020 we have scheduled another waste audit with Let’s Talk Trash. We are expecting at least 95% of the garbage to be reduced.
Over the past year and a half, our school has been continually watching the amount of garbage that is getting taken out weekly. We have had many engaging conversations about this and what we can do as a class to reduce our waste. We have been doing a very minimal amount of recycling and composting, but this year we have really taken action...
We bought Shrek with the money we made from the seedling sale we held in Spring 2019. He has been a major help in our classroom. We have made a lot of dirt, and we are using that dirt to plant.
“ Let’s Talk Trash” come into our school. Let’s Talk Trash is our town's garbage education resource team. With our class we went through a day of our school garbage waste. We sorted all of it into piles. 70% of our garbage was paper towel. The Let's Talk Trash team informed us that we are doing a very great job with our school’s composting and waste!
We, as a school, obviously use a lot of paper towel. And just where does all of that paper towel end up? IN THE LANDFILL! When the paper towel ends up in the trash, it is calculating up to 8 Ibs out of our 13 Ib trash bags we go through a week. And all of it just goes to waste. By separating paper towels from garbage, we could compost the paper towel.
Last year as a class, we made our own tumbling recycling bin named “Jo Bob”. We did an experiment about what Jo Bob can decompose. We put two different coffee lids into Jo Bob, one biodegradable and one not. The biodegradable mostly degraded within months, and the plastic one not, but it is recyclable.
Our school’s accountant came into our classroom to talk to us about how we can save our school a ton of money, by decreasing the amount of times a month that our garbage gets taken out. Right now, our garbage gets picked up two times a month, and we only go through 8 garbage bags a month, so it is very expensive for our school to be paying for only 4 garbage bags to get taken out by the garbage truck. The accountant suggested that we actually get rid of the dumpster because we don't need it. By just doing that we save our school over $600 yearly.
Living inside of Shrek we have over 3,000 worms. These worms will eat any peels, fruit or compost that we place inside of Shreck. We named Shrek, Shrek because he is big, green and smelly.
Woodie was actually kindly donated to us by VIU woodwork, wood, hinges, wheels, everything got donated! We sketched out what we wanted the figure to look like, and made the measures and dimensions. As VIU was working on our figure, they had an amazing idea to make all of the other classes in our school, mini Woodie bins! In our mini Woodie bins, we have paper, paper towel and soft/hard plastics. They turned out great!
After our class made some effective changes to our school’s recycling system. We were encouraged by the significant impact it had, by only a few adaptations to the system. Going forward, we would like to build on this.
Our outdoor education program is having their 2nd annual Seedling Sale. This year the entire school will be involved, which means more experiments to be done. These experiments include growing; Mango, Apple, Pear, Avocado, and Lemon trees from seeds found in fruit we ate. We are also experimenting with; Tomatoes, Raspberries, Blueberries, Thimble-berries, just to name a few.
Last year(at our first seedling sale) we only sold around two different types of seedlings. This year we have drastically increased the amount of seeds we plant and sell ( by donation). With the money we raise from this upcoming Seedling Sale, which is to be held April, 24th, we will put it together to buy another Green Hungry bin, to accompany Shrek in composting, as fitted she will be named,” Fiona”.
The more recycling we do, the better we become at it. This is inspiring all other classes in a short amount of time, the better we become at recycling as a school, it will lead to a unified effort by every single person in our school!
We will continually be recycling and composting, to continue our strive 4 zero waste!