I often find myself wondering what more I can do to promote recycling and reduce waste in my area, but I hadn’t really had a great idea until I learned that my daughter’s new school does not have a recycling program of any kind, even though there is a city recycling center located in its parking lot. Surprising, to say the least, but I have a plan of attack. Our neighborhood elementary school is made up of two buildings separated by a few blocks. One houses kindergarten through second grade and the other third grade through fifth grade. The K-2 school has the recycling center located in the teacher’s parking lot. The plan is twofold. First, get a recycling program started at the schools, and second, put together a team of volunteers to keep our neighborhood litter-free and beautiful.
Get other parents involved.
- Present a proposal for a school recycling program at a Parent Teacher Association meeting.
- Talk to other parents about how to make a waste-free lunch and, if there is a recyclable item in the lunches they pack, make sure they remind their children to recycle it.
Get the teachers involved.
- Offer to speak to the children about why we recycle and ways to reduce and reuse.
- Get recycling bins from the city to place in the classrooms and lunchroom.
- Propose field trips to the local recycling plant, or have a representative come in and speak to the children about how things are recycled.
- Ask the teachers to show “The Story of Stuff” to help the children visualize
Get the administrative staff involved.
- Find out if the school is buying recycled paper.
- Set up a recycling bin for paper in the offices.
Organize a green team.
- Volunteers would be parents, teachers, administrators, members of the community and local business members — anyone concerned about having a litter-free neighborhood.
- Volunteers jobs could include:
- Emptying school recycling bins
- Educating families, friends, neighbors and co-workers about waste prevention and recycling
- Adopting areas in our neighborhood to keep litter-free and beautiful (including school grounds)
- Assess the feasibility of an edible school garden.