Monday, April 13, 2009

Eco Cycle's Green Star Schools

Nancy Dudek, the Eco-Cycle Green Star Schools Coordinator here in Boulder County, shared some tips from local Green Star Schools in the Spring newsletter. Perhaps you can implement some of these ideas at your local school. I just finished reading Three Cups of Tea, and am more convinced than ever that each of us can make a big difference if we just put in the time and energy. Thanks, Nancy, for letting me share this with our readers:

Longmont Estates Elementary:
Head custodian, Cheryl Prentice, runs a custodial club with students in first through fifth grades. At the end of their lunch
period, these students help sweep the floor, wipe the tables and stand in the waste station line to help other students in
their grade level accurately sort their waste. Cheryl rewards these students for their extra efforts with gently used books
from Eco-Cycle’s Children’s Used Book Project.

Community Montessori:
When conducting events at their school, Community Montessori encourages its school community to bring their own
reusable water bottles and provides them with a large dispenser of water to refill their durable containers. This greatly
reduces plastic water bottle waste, as well as eliminates the expense involved in purchasing bottled water for participants
at events.

Eagle Crest Elementary:
Donna Chuang, member of Eagle Crest’s parent organization, asked for donations of any old, mismatched silverware that
might be found at home. Just three days after the Green Star Schools program was kicked-off, the school held their an-
nual Valentine’s Breakfast as a Zero Waste event using the donated silverware and purchased compostables. The silver-
ware supply will continue to be used by the school community to reduce both waste and expense for future events.

Heatherwood Elementary:
Harriet Brown, paraprofessional working in Heatherwood’s teacher workroom, retrieves all one-sided paper found in the
recycling bin. When time from her work schedule allows, she cuts the sheets into fourths and prepares stacks of notepa-
per for school staff to (re)use.

Niwot Elementary:
For the past two years, Niwot Elementary parent organization has sold Laptop Lunches ( at the
end of the school year with their school’s supply orders. This can be done as a fundraiser, but Niwot chooses to do it at
cost. Laptop Lunches gives them a discount for their fundraising purposes, and they pass that savings on to their families
to encourage the use of reusable containers.

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