Baywood Elementary Sets Up Recycling Program Based on EarthSeeds Curriculum

Last year 16 EarthSeeds 'Crewmembers' from Baywood Elemantary 4th and 5th grade in San Mateo, California helped plan and carry out a recycling program that increased school recycling by 100%. Every classroom is now equipped with several blue bins for easy single-stream recycling of any color of uncoated paper, cans, bottles, and plastics (#1-7) as well as kid-friendly posters that explain the system.This year Crewmembers will take things to the next level by helping 1st grade students and their parents learn how to develop "Trashless Lunch Boxes" designed to reduce trash from the foods children bring to school.

The school came up with their own unique project ideas based on curriculum and the "Crewmember" concept in the EarthSeeds Curriculum Kit, which contains 156 pages of fun and engaging ideas that teach kids to understand and care for our planet. An Environmental Education Committee works with the kids to implement the program at the school.

Here is information from Baywood Elementary School in San Mateo, California to give you an idea of what they've done.

Calling All Crewmembers of Spaceship Earth!

What can we do to make the earth a more sustainable environment? How about our school? Define what YOU think it means to be a 'Crewmember' of Spaceship Earth?

These are the 'passion paragraphs' we're asking 4th & 5th graders to dream up and submit by 9/23 to be selected as a Crewmember for the school year. Teachers will pass out the entry flyers about lunch time duties and earning Block B points along with some of the exciting plans from the Planet Patrol this year, including THREE field trips for those selected as one of the 16 Crewmembers. We'll be touring the BFI recycling facility, Coyote Point Environmental Education Museum and the PHS/SPCA shelter to visit the 'new to you' adoptable animals ready for rejoining a friendly home.

Crewmembers will also visit the classrooms with conservation tips, help plan games & Earth Day Celebration fun, and wear their official turquoise tees during lunch hour shifts, to help peers determine what's recyclable! (any color of uncoated paper, cardboard lunch trays, plastics (#1-7) cans and bottles can be dumped in one 'single-stream' source for reuse, but no gunky food residue though)

Last year in just a few short months, we increased recycling well over 100% and almost tripled the number of bins being filled! Crewmembers received a special commendation patch from (who also donated our tees) at year's end. If your kids are excited about 'going green' encourage them to apply as Crewmembers! Remember, 9/23 is the deadline!

Create An Eco-Friendly 'Trashless Lunch Kit'

The Environmental Committee is also launching a first-ever 'Pilot Program' for first graders to create environmentally friendly habits early with 'trashless lunch boxes.' Say what? Each first grade classroom at Back to School Night will have a sample kit with a flyer on how to assemble a cost-effective, easy-to-find collection of reusable containers. Segmented snap-ons, and Thermos & Tupperware style items will be on display for cool-n-creative (not to mention healthier!) alternatives to pre-packaged goods. Older kids are encouraged to lead as role models too, but we know eco-habits start early, so we're snaggin' 'em while they're young! Visit our booth at the Fall Festival to see a sample Trashless Lunch kit, and bring your toxic waste while you're at it. Seriously! Cell phones, batteries, toner cartridges & more will be collected on site and you can wash your hands of them with a clean conscience.

Trashless Lunch is designed to involve parents and their children, which is why we chose to kick it off at Back to School Night. Room Parents gave out the flyers and we had "examples" of a Trashless Lunch in the classrooms - we had examples of the items listed that can be bought at Target or Costco Warehouse, which really helped....people needed to SEE the items. We are currently working on a "monitoring" system to see how successful it is, and so far are quite encouraged.

In fact, today we kicked off our Crewmember Orientation for 2005 with a pizza party hosted by NorCal waste management. We had the kids create poster boards of what can and can't be recycled in our single-stream, items 1-7 blue bins, debriefed them on the Trashless Lunch mentoring, and their noontime duty at the recycle bins assisting peers.

We can pack nutritious leftovers, soup-n-sandwich favorites and even snack packs by using simple, reusable, cost-effective and easy-to-find containers! You'll not only be helping to save planet Earth, you'll be helping yourself save money.

Useful Items for Creating Trashless Lunch Boxes

Costco: 27-piece Ziploc Snap 'n Seal set: $8.99 Target: TakeAlongs by Rubbermaid: 5 deep squares w/lids: $2.29/set 4 rectangles/bento box size: $2.29 10 teeny rounds: $2.29 Double decker/w utensil keeper: 2.99

Target Housewares: EZ Freeze Gel Built into lid: 3 pk: $2.99 StainShield Line, 'Elegan' by Rubbermaid, Ready to Go Lunch Set ($19.99) Servin' Saver Stackables w/Lids (38-pc/$17.99)

Target: Located Near Sporting Goods/Backpacks: Aladdin Snack & Go tumbler/twinpak w/divider (pretzels/carrots/dry foods) $6.99 Aladdin Heat & Go: 'microwave now, stays hot 3 hrs': $9.99 Thermos Stainless Wide Mouth 'Food Jars:' 16/10 oz. w/foldable spoon: $9-14.99 Stanley hefty food jars (20 oz) 19.99, Stanley heat keeper w/spoon (10 oz) $7.99 'Fun Ice' $.99 (blue ice blocks in sports shapes, Dora, Spongebob, or regular)

Thanks for helping us with this innovative pilot program, and for teaching your child how to make a direct environmental impact by choosing to carry a trashless lunch!!!

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EarthSeeds would like to thank Amy Bedard, Debbie Barrie & Lori Tamura-Chinn of the Environmental Education Committee at Baywood Elementary School in San Mateo, California for sharing their unique recycling and "Trashless Lunch Box" program ideas.

"I really want to be a Crewmember because I would like to help the earth, and I try to do this whenever I can, not just in school.

At the Bayfront Cleanup we found a vacuum cleaner in the smelly, icky muck at Tidelands marsh! We also found two heavy rusty car tires, a broken up chair, rug, a coconut, a pair of tennis shoes and tons of spray paint cans and styrofoam. What are these people thinking throwing their trash off the bridge?

Even my dogs are 'recycled' from another family! We adopted them from Golden Retriever Rescue at 7 years old, and they even helped at the clean up too. They fetched up a plastic bottle in the lagoon!" -- K. B., 5th grade