Class Act newletter for King County teachers - Updated with correct photo

Class Act

Elementary school Green Teams are busy!

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The Green Team students at Apollo Elementary in the Issaquah School District have worked to reduce lunch time waste for several years. This year’s focus, with guidance from teachers Andrea Wolfe and Hayley Mathis, is teaching all students and staff how to have a zero-waste lunch. The biggest challenges are packaging and uneaten food. The team has regular lunchroom helpers, shares waste reduction ideas in announcements, creates hallway signs, and places notes in students’ lunch boxes with tips on how to reduce waste. They check progress by weighing the waste and have already seen improvement.


Secondary school Green Teams are reducing waste

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Evergreen Middle School in the Lake Washington School District has almost one hundred students participating in the Green Team. With so much interest, Green Team advisors Angela Kaspar and Kerry Hanson were challenged with finding large-scale projects for the team. In collaboration with a Green Team specialist and Green Schools Program representative, they held a Trash on a Tarp event for the entire school. Sorting lunchroom waste on tarps helped them identify areas to reduce contamination and decrease the amount of waste generated. The Green Team calculated that the school is diverting 83 percent of its lunch time waste from the landfill. The team is now working with a Green Team specialist on ways to use what was learned from the event. Future projects will include decreasing food waste and clearing up confusion about properly sorting waste.

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Start planning a Green Awareness Week

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It’s not too soon for Green Teams to plan how they will honor Earth Day. One popular and customizable idea is to host a Green Awareness Week. Similar to a traditional spirit week, students wear a specific color each day of the week to increase visibility of an environmental issue. The Green Team can give daily announcements and hang posters in common areas outlining the key facts and actions needed. Many schools choose to start or end the week with an assembly.


Celebrate a green Valentine's Day

The Center for a New American Dream has a list of alternative ideas for the classroom to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a way that practices the four Rs. Ideas range include making Valentines out of reused paper and having a compliment or generosity exchange.

April 4 is National Healthy Schools Day

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This annual event focuses on children’s environmental health and safe school environments. Find information and resources for this year at the Health Schools Network.