January 2019 Sustainability Council Newsletter
Greetings from the Wellness and Sustainability Council!
Have you ever considered the amount of waste you personally create? If not, I encourage you to think about it for a few minutes. From the time you wake in the morning to the time you climb back into bed at the end of a long day, what do you throw away? Did you make coffee in your Keurig machine? If so, where did the coffee pod go? Did you crack a couple eggs for breakfast? Where did you put the egg shells? On average, each American creates 4.5 pounds of garbage per day. You read that correctly… 4.5 pounds of garbage per day!!! Multiply that by 365 days per year and you will find each American is creating 1,642.5 pounds of garbage per year! The number is too astonishing to believe. So… can anything be done to reduce the amount of garbage you create? Of course!
Students at Cranbury School are learning small ways to reduce the waste they create. Recycling bins can be found in each classroom and in the cafeteria. Students are encouraged to place paper, plastic, and metal in the recycling bins. Additionally, each classroom has a Terracycle box to collect small chip bags and mini muffin wrappers. Terracycle is a global company based in Trenton, New Jersey that recycles hard-to-recycle waste. If you are unfamiliar with Terracycle, you may wish to visit the Terracycle website to learn more about this company’s efforts to reduce global waste. https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/
Global food waste has also been integrated into the sustainability curriculum. Last year, students in 4thand 5thgrade used STEM activities to investigate global food waste. The students examined their own beliefs and values to make decisions related to food waste. They debated important issues related to food waste such as human population growth, food waste per country, ugly food, landfills, methane gas, food desserts, and food sustainability all the while respecting and hearing the opinions of other students. They evaluated possible solutions to food waste around the world. They investigated the impacts that food waste has on the environment. The students used the Technological Design Process to identify the problem, propose designs, and possible solutions. Students developed a variety of strategies to calculate the amount of food waste per capita and created Google Slide presentations of their research, which were featured at Cranbury School’s First Harvest Day Celebration last May.
Making efforts to reduce your waste may be easier than you think. The Wellness & Sustainability Council would like to encourage you to pack a zero waste lunch for your child. Zero waste lunch?! It can be done! Here are some recommendations for packing a zero waste lunch:
- Pack your child’s lunch in a reusable lunch bag or lunch box
- Pack a cloth napkin and reusable utensils
- Put food in reusable food and drink containers
- Provide your child with a reusable water bottle. Cranbury School has 3 water bottle refilling stations. One is in the K-1 hallway, one is in the cafeteria, and one is near the large gymnasium.
- If you must use a disposable plastic bag, encourage your child to bring it home so it can be washed out and reused.
- Purchase snacks for your child in bulk size and repack the snacks in individual reusable containers.
- Pack fresh fruit for your child since it does not require any additional packaging.
We wish you luck as you begin your journey to reducing your waste!
~Becky Mathers-Lowery, Sustainability Council Member