The Green Bronx Machine’s Stephen Ritz is making a return visit to Green schools National conference. Check out his latest and greatest green creations, and learn more about his urban farming revolution.Read More
During the 2013 Green Schools National Conference a solution summit was held to define the most barriers to schools in becoming zero waste and to brainstorm the best solutions to overcome those barriers. In the end, we had 5 overarching categories of barriers—education, engagement, infrastructure & feasibility, data & knowledge gaps, and resources, as well as a list of potential 31 solutions.
Out of this session, a working group was formed to pursue these solutions for zero waste in schools. This working group is facilitated by Keep America Beautiful, and includes members from Project Learning Tree, Keep America Beautiful affiliates, Waste Management, NAESP, and Green Schools, among others. The group’s first task was to condense and prioritize the brainstormed solutions based on how much impact we believed the solution would have and how feasible it would be for our group to work on.
In the end of this process, the group had a total of 6 solutions.
- Promoting professional development around waste
- Working with custodian associations
- Compiling a resource toolkit on engagement
- Creating an RFP template to assist schools in soliciting recycling haulers
- Conducting a national school recycling study or compiling existing literature
- Building a methodology for waste assessments
We felt that it is highly likely that resources may already exist for each of these solutions, so rather than reinvent the wheel, the working group decided to create a survey to solicit those resources. Once collected, we want to make them more accessible for all by putting them in a central location.
I have been asked to help distribute the aforementioned survey to collect resources that already exist on the issue of Zero Waste in schools. I would greatly appreciate your participation in this survey in order to advance this extremely important topic. All responses need to be recorded by November 15th. Thank you for your participation!
If you would like more information about this working group or the survey, please contact Katy Phelps at RecyclingIntern4@kab.org”
Author: Katy PhelpsRead More
Sustainability News & Entertainment®’s TRASH ON YOUR BACK® 5 DAY CHALLENGE was founded by Diana Dehm & inspired by MIT/Dartmouth College to innovate & motivate, and ask the simple question…”What is my personal trash impact on the planet?”
To collectively create a Zero Waste Nation & Globe, through human innovation while eliminating one piece of trash to landfill at a time.
What did 2300 people from 6 countries have in common in 2013? The Sustainability News & Entertainment® TRASH ON YOUR BACK® 5 DAY CHALLENGE, we had 27 states represented – 6 countries; USA, Australia, Israel, Jamaica, Canada, Uganda. Our Core Team included Drew Jones of MIT’s Climate Interactive, Green Schools National Network, CEO Jim McGrath, Sustainability News & Entertainment® Radio (founder), US EPA Pollution Prevention, Matt Bogoshian, Global Conscious Leadership CEO, Tara Sheehan; Seattle Mariners & Green Sports Alliance Co-Founder Scott Jenkins; Former Mayor/City Council Member, City of Huntington Beach, CA; University of New Hampshire, US Navy Rt Admiral Len Hering (RADM, USN (ret), Randolf Elementary, Chris Castro, Co-Founder for Ideas for Us (US, Uganda, Israel), ECOSafe Bags, and Sustainable Business Partnerships™, Waste Management, and many others from Cities, Fed Gov, Major League Sports, Media/Radio/TV, K-12 Schools, Colleges & Universities, military, manufacturing, businesses, etc.)
We learned collectively that the US averages 4.4 lbs of trash per day per person, and that the USA spends $12B per year on waste management (tipping fees etc.). The TRASH ON YOUR BACK® TEAM from around the world averaged .8% of trash per day vs. 4.4 lbs the average = through behavioral choice and not wanting to literally carry all the trash, we cut the average by 82%! Imagine if we cut conservatively 50% vs. the 82%, through our choices made, and we look at the $12B we spend each year, we collectively uncovered an approximate 50-82% economic reduction opportunity to save the Nation $6B per year in “waste management”!
UNH also helped us to understand that our complete human impact is actually 250 lbs per day based on the average American use of water, energy, carbon, and waste. We can’t manage what we can’t measure – we made the invisible visible – through hands on grass roots experience and walking our talk together because our next generation is depending on us! Join us in 2014 during Earth Day Week for the TRASH ON YOUR BACK® 5 DAY CHALLENGE HAPPENING AROUND THE WORLD.
For more information and media inquiries contact: Diana Dehm, Founder of the TRASH ON YOUR BACK® 5 DAY CHALLENGE on 714.300.8836 Read More
Jim McGrath, CEO for the Green Schools National Network met with Geoff Grimmer, Director of VSSA during his recent visit in Colorado. VSSA is an amazing model for having No Child Left Inside. Students participate in daily outdoor physical activity that is integrated into their school day. They also have the opportunity for to work on projects on stewardship, sustainability and health. Students who attend VSSA come from across Colorado, the United States and other countries to participate in a world class Ski & Snowboard Training. They all of these elements with a high level academic achievement for instruction.
The Story of the Buckingham Schools Renovation Project
VMDO Architects transformed two mid-century school buildings into a modern learning campus for K-5 students with the aim to address the growing concern of student health and well being. By designing the school from a holistic perspective that includes the dining experience as an educational opportunity; the school cafeteria, kitchen, and servery have been reconsidered as an important educational experience while retaining the key food service functions. The enhanced programming includes a teaching kitchen, innovative food and nutritional displays, an open servery to promote demonstration cooking, a food lab – small group learning lounge, scratch bakery, dehydrating food composter, ample natural daylight, flexible seating arrangements, and outdoor student gardens.
The natural setting of the surrounding pine and oak forest habitat, watershed, and microclimates feature prominently throughout the architecture and active landscape. The design team worked collaboratively to create a total learning environment in order to support learning both inside and outside the traditional classroom. Each grade level enjoys age-appropriate outdoor gardens and play terraces, which encourage children to re-connect and spend time in their natural surroundings. Inside the schools, in addition to core classrooms, each grade level has small group learning spaces that transform circulation pathways into child-centric “learning streets.” These spaces are intimately scaled with soft seating and fun colors that communicate both collaborative and shared learning experiences.
To study the impact of these healthy design features, VMDO is teaming with public health researchers – Dr. Terry Huang from the University of Nebraska and Dr. Matthew Trowbridge from the University of Virginia – to study how health-promoting educational design strategies can support active communities and reduce incidence rates of childhood obesity. This design-research collaborative co-created “Healthy Eating Design Guidelines for School Architecture,” which provides new insight into how school environments can effectively promote healthy eating and movement. The impact of these guidelines is expected to improve schools’ ability to adopt healthy programming and overall support the well-being of healthy FoodSmart Kids®.