"Even Little Hands Can Make a BIG Difference"
Making the cafeteria at CCLS more sustainable was a large undertaking this 2016-2017 school year. The CCLS Green Team enjoyed decorating their new Recycling bin with the theme, “Even little hands can make a big difference.” We researched the underused Steady Stream container behind our school and discovered it was affiliated with our association church. Thankfully, the church gave permission to add cafeteria recyclables to the container every day. As a group effort (from our kitchen staff to custodian, church office staff, teachers, and every one of the 200 students on campus), implementing this program took time and perseverance. Teaching children ages 5-10 how to sort their “trash” was not a small feat; a parent volunteer monitored the new clean-up process daily for about four months to be sure the children were not adding food waste or other contaminants to the recycling bin. Some of the older children were encouraged to be “Green Ninjas” and help the younger children with the clean-up process. The Green Team performed a waste audit before and after the cafeteria recycling program started...turns out we were saving between 30-40 pounds of landfill waste per day from the landfill. Obviously, this project was most certainly worth the effort considering that, by the end of the year, CCLS will have diverted over 3 tons of landfill waste to the recycling center. This blue decorated can has also provoked significant conversation about the benefits of reusable containers, general reduction of trash, and food waste as well.
It's amazing what "one can and many little hands" can do!