December 03, 2014

Garbage Detectives

At Jackman, we are always looking for ways to minimize GARBAGE!   So, to help us learn how, the Eco team became garbage detectives for a day.   We collected Jackman’s waste on Tuesday and saved it for a careful inspection on Wednesday.   We weighed each bag, we explored the contents, we sorted the mess and discussed the findings.  Here’s what we discovered.
The total mass of Tuesday’s garbage was about 31 kg.   While that seems like a lot, it’s actually 5 kg less than a year ago.  Well done Jackman!   And here is some more good news… there was less food packaging and snack wrappers than before.  It seems like more Jackman families are making the switch to reusable containers.   We also noticed less coffee cups too.  Well done teachers!   We’re glad many of you are toting reusable coffee mugs to school instead of disposable ones.  
There was a lot of food in the garbage.   Some food seemed perfectly fine; like uneaten sandwiches, whole apples and uneaten snacks.   There was also lots of daycare lunch and snacks wasted.    Let’s continue to encourage kids be less wasteful with food.  
There seems some confusion about garbage and recycling.   We know this because we found papers, boxes, a can, some water bottles, juice boxes, and other food containers in the garbage.   Everyone needs to stop and think before tossing something in the garbage.  Maybe it can be recycled instead.
And who would have thought… we found a pair of Spiderman underwear in the garbage (again this year).  Imagine that.  
Let’s work together to reduce garbage at school, at home in our community.   
Here are the full details of the Waste Audit.

Waste Audit - Wednesday, November 19, 2014 
Total Mass of Tuesday’s garbage - 31.36 kg  (That's about 5 kg less than a year ago!)

Items in the garbage that should have been recycled (1.10 kg - 3.5%)
  • various papers
  • a cereal box
  • Scholastic flyers
  • 1 Coke can  (Ugh!)
  • 4 water bottles... with water still in them (Ugh!  Ugh!  Ugh!  Ugh!)
  • many juice boxes, many with juice still in them, most with straws still in them  (Juice boxes should be banned!)
  • various food containers - plastic and styrofoam 
  • plastic cookie containers
Food Waste (9.27 kg - about 30%)
  • 4 uneaten sandwiches (Should have been eaten.)
  • cereal, pretzels, bagel, cookie, snack bar, chicken, raisins, yogurt (Should have been eaten.)
  • package of dinner rolls 
  • daycare lunch leftovers and other Daycare snacks (We need the green bin program!)
  • 1 whole apple and 4 barely eaten apples (Should have been eaten and/or composted.)
  • fruit scraps - banana peel/orange peels/apple cores (No excuses... should have been composted.)
Paper Towels (including tissues and other soiled papers)   (8.78 kg - about 28%)
  • LOTS of paper towels!!!  (We need to reduce this!)
  • and the ‘paper towel of shame’ - over 2 m long!
  • even a nearly full roll of paper towels found in the garbage
  • paper plates (Could regular plates been used instead?)

Real Garbage - on it's way to a Landfill  (9.89 kg - about 31%)
  • lots of food/snack wrappers (...but less than last year.)
  • 8 coffee cups (... but half as many as last year.)
  • several small Dixie cups
  • Lots of sand!!!  (is there another way kids can empty their shoes?)
  • Riso photocopy carbons
  • plastic laminating scraps
  • water filter from Daycare
Items in the garbage that could have been reused   (about 1.5 kg - about 4%)
  • Pencils, erasers, crayon, glue sticks (Probably left on floor at the end of the day.)
  • markers (At Jackman, dead markers can be recycled, there's a bin in the staffroom.)
  • ziploc bags (They don't have to be disposable,  they can be reused.)
  • flower pots 
  • plastic lunch containers
  • some lego, some small toys (Likely left on the floor at the end of the day.)
  • plastic spoons and forks (Could have been washed and reused.)
  • even 1 stainless steel fork
And who would have thought... 
  • another pair of Underwear (two years in a row.)
  • plants & soil (two years in a row.)

November 22, 2014

Broccoli Band Project

Jackman’s Eco Team (a.k.a. the JETs) is here to tell you about a new project… the broccoli band project!!!   

A broccoli band is the thick rubber band used to hold your broccoli  together. 

Lots of people just toss them in the garbage.   We think that’s a total waste!  We’ve got to rethink what we put in the garbage.  They’ll just sit somewhere in a landfill taking years to decompose.   That’s not good!

So, here’s the plan... we would like you to save your broccoli bands.  Just send them in to the school.  The JETs will use them to make... rubber band balls.   FUN!!!

At school, you will find several boxes.  Just put your bands in there!   We’ll do the rest.   Together we’ll reduce garbage and have a whole lot of fun doing it.   

By Rayne, Nina and Mr. Cressman