Why is the school’s Zero Waste program so important?
With an emphasis on composting, students contribute to the natural processes of a renewable, reusable world. With more organic material being used in the cafeteria, more can be saved from accumulating in landfills. Anything organic (once living) will decompose with time. When students compost their leftover food, they return this organic material, and its nutrients, back to the environment. So rather than accumulate in a landfill, it goes to use”contributing to a new cycle of life and growth!
How can you reduce your school’s waste?
Laurel School partners with Allied Waste, a San Mateo County waste collection, recycling, transportation, and disposal service, and Kid Chow, a San Francisco organization that provides natural and organic school lunches and paper bags.
Smaller steps that will also help make a difference: 1. Begin by teaching children how and why to recycle and compost. If students have an understanding of where their food came from and where it goes (either back to the soil or to a landfill), then making the decision to compost it rather than toss it is much easier. 2. When putting together a sacked lunch, use a lunchbox, packed with cloth napkins and washable utensils and containers. 3. Start a composting or vermicomposting on your school site, for all of that material that can be returned to the soil (all foods excluding fats, oils, meats, cheese, and dairy).
Researched and written by Anna Celene Garbier
- For more tips on zero waste lunches at home and school, visit RecycleWorks at: www.recycleworks.org/schools/lunch.html.
- For information on Kid Chow, go to: www.kidchow.com.
- Sign up for the RecycleWorks e-list to receive environmental news, events, opportunities and grants. Go to: www.recycleworks.org/schools/index.html
- For information on Allied Waste and their Business Food Waste page, go to http://www.alliedwastesanmateocounty.com/business-food-waste.php. Find your community contact here.