Green Teams in King County’s Middle and High Schools Are Reducing Waste

evergreen-ms-notes-sheet-croppedEvergreen 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.

The Earth Corps Green Team at Juanita High School in the Lake Washington School District is working to reduce water bottle waste. With assistance from teacher, Jim Clark, and parent volunteer, Susan Vossler, Earth Corps students collected baseline data on how often the water bottle refill stations are used. Next, they announced key facts using Twitter and posters. They’ve organized a sticker design contest to promote the use of reusable bottles. After the campaign, they will collect data again and hope to see a dramatic rise in the use of the refill stations.

jhs-water-bottle-data-trackingcroppedThe Green Team at Maywood Middle School in the Issaquah School District strives to reduce waste by continuing projects from past years as well as starting new ones. With the help of teacher, Jane Watkins, the team educates all staff and students about recycling, composting, and decreasing paper towel use. Their “One Paper Towel Challenge” shares powerful statistics about waste and shows the student body how to dry their hands using fewer paper towels. The simple instructions are based on a Ted Talk by Joe Smith. The PowerPoint the team developed can be found on the district webpage. The team also created a mural out of  bottle caps that is on display in the cafeteria.