Here’s the latest elementary school Green Team news!

Team leaders Kathy McAllen and Andrea Wolfe coordinated a year-long project with the Apollo Elementary School Green Team to reduce lunchtime waste. The team used announcements and videos to promote the project, and participated in a STEMposium showcase event. They also collected data and sought feedback from key stakeholders. The lunchroom staff was pleased with the team’s efforts and expects waste to continue to decrease. Andrea Wolfe was recognized as a 2018 Earth Hero at School for her leadership.

With guidance from advisor Debbie Fox, the Chestnut Hill Academy Green Team applied for and received a grant for an indoor aeroponic garden tower. The team researched pollinators and, with their families, helped plant an outside garden as well. Team members continue to work on garden maintenance. They plan to expand the garden next year.

Chestnut Academy Green Team

Chestnut Hill Academy Green Team

With the leadership of Rabbi Sarah Rensin, fifth and second-grade students at the Jewish Day School participated in an Environmental Leadership Green Team workshop. Using a project-based learning cycle in which they use art to illuminate key texts they are studying, they selected materials previously headed to the landfill as their medium. During the workshop, the students learned about life cycles of everyday products, discussed why reuse is a good idea, and were shown several examples of reuse art. They are currently working in design teams to incorporate reused materials into the Ezekiel’s Chariot project.

Reuse art in progress from JDS

Reuse art-in-progess at The Jewish Day School

The Hazelwood Elementary School Green Team and their leader Kate Ingalls focused on increasing recycling awareness at the school. They surveyed all classrooms and the office to check for correct containers and signage. The team delivered new King County stickers to each room to provide clear and easy recycling instructions. In addition, they made 3-D posters to help with sorting materials in the lunchroom.

Hazelwood Green Team with 3D posters

Hazelwood Elementary Green team with 3D posters on what to recycle

The Lake Wilderness Elementary School Green Team, with leadership from teachers Susie Davidson, Cathy Haws, and Kelley Weiner, completed several projects to reduce waste and pollution. To reduce plastic waste, the team worked with two other organizations to turn old t-shirts into reusable shopping bags. They also wrote letters to businesses to encourage replacing plastic straws with compostable ones. To decrease food waste, the team made posters and announcements, wrote informational articles, held an assembly, and rewarded students who had a waste-free lunch. The team also sought to reduce air pollution through an anti-idling campaign.

The Lakeridge Elementary School Green Team created a pledge wall to encourage others to take action during Earth Week 2018.  During an Environmental Leadership workshop, they identified the most wasteful lunch-time behaviors and one alternative less-wasteful action. Selecting the top four actions to reduce food waste, the team created posters and a sign made from repurposed food wrappers. With the help of teacher and Green Team Leader Heather Mclyman, they encouraged students to choose an action and post a pledge on the wall.

Lakeridge creates wrapper art

Lakeridge Elementary students create art from wrappers

Teacher Jessica Burnham at Newcastle Elementary School led a project to replace plastic utensils with durable ones.  With support from the district, the transition was easy. When they noticed some students bending the utensils, the Green Team made announcements and sent emails with pictures of the bent items requesting the students show pride in and respect for the school’s conservation efforts.

North Bend Elementary School Green Team and teacher Anne Melgaard designed and carried out a Recycle Stewards project this year. The third-grade Green Team students paired with younger students to help them properly recycle and reduce contamination in the lunchroom. The Green Team made  videos to teach the importance of recycling as well as how to recycle correctly. The team creates trophies out of repurposed materials and will be creating a team sign made from repurposed wrappers.

NBES recycle trainers

North Bend Elementary Recycle Stewards

Parent volunteer Stephanie Lecovin, custodian Peter Bowler, and the Peter Kirk Elementary School Green Team designed a quarter-page pledge that included five actions students and staff could take to conserve Earth’s resources and reduce pollution. Actions included donating used textiles and packing or buying a waste-free lunch. Each student was encouraged to pick one or more actions and display their pledge on a school pledge wall. Stephanie Lecovin and Peter Bowler were recognized as 2018 Earth Heroes at School.

PKES Earth Week pledge wall

Peter Kirk Elementary pledge wall

With leadership from teacher Danielle Boyles, the Shadow Lake Elementary School Green Team partnered with the Maple Valley Lions Club to promote the use of reusable bags and straws. With the Maple Valley Doesn’t Suck campaign, students researched the environmental impacts of disposable plastic bags and straws. They wrote persuasive letters to local businesses as well as the mayor. Students felt very passionate about this project and even got their own parents to buy reusable straws for their homes. They are now currently seeking new ways for businesses to overcome the obstacles to adopting more sustainable practices.

Dynamic, longtime leader and teacher Jennifer Gjurasic and the Snoqualmie Elementary School Green Team sang “Three is the magic number” to the entire school to encourage all students and staff to reduce, reuse, and recycle. With the help of posters and a PowerPoint presentation with lyrics, the team taught the school to sing along and why it is so important to waste less. The team is currently working on an end-of-year project to clean up the school grounds, plant new local plants, and spread mulch.

Green Team having fun, SES

Snoqualmie Elementary Green Team having fun


The Tiffany Park Elementary School Green Team wanted to reduce the amount of plastics being sent to the landfill. With guidance from teachers Jane Lambert and John Paul, the team started a Crayola Marker recycling project. The team created collection bins and education materials for each classroom and work area. During Green Team meetings, they empty the bins. So far, they have diverted nearly twenty pounds of markers from the landfill.

Leaders Tara Johnson and Linda Wakeman revitalized the Green Team at West Mercer Elementary School this year. They describe their team as “small, but mighty” and their efforts show that you do not need a large team to make a difference. The team piloted a paper towel composting program to divert classroom paper towels from the landfill. With help from the PTSA, the students learned more about waste systems, recycling, and composting. Students made signs for the compost bins. They distributed the signs throughout the school and taught staff and students how to reduce waste.

West Mercer Green Team

West Mercer Elementary Green Team is small but mighty