Right now, students are encouraged to sort paper and cardboard into recycling bins and rinse and recycle food and drink containers whenever possible. A big thank you to Mrs. Nicole St. Pierre and the grade four and five recycling volunteer students for their work and leadership in our recycling program! The empties are taken to the depot once a week and we have earned over $100 in refunds since the beginning of the school year.
All students can contribute and learn how to reduce the amount of garbage they create day by day. Mrs. St. Pierre is working on expanding the recycling project to include collecting green waste (food leftovers, apple cores, fruit peel, etc.) for composting.
This said, ideally a student’s lunch and recess food and drink would not leave any garbage behind at all. So how can families come closer to the goal of an entirely litter-less lunch?
Happily, often eating healthier and creating less waste go hand in hand. Here are some tips to consider:
- Water for drinking: Did you know that a box of fruit juice contains more sugar than the same amount of Coca Cola? It is not only healthier for children to drink water when they are thirsty; it is cheaper and better for the environment too. Consider a reusable water bottle to fill with fresh tap water in the morning. Students can easily refill an empty water bottle themselves at our drinking fountains.
- Do it yourself: Ready-packed portions of puddings, fruit snacks, cheese and crackers create lots of packaging waste and are quite expensive. To go easy on the family budget and the environment, buy large containers of yoghurt, a chunk of cheddar, a bag of apples, and portion out yourself. If you are pressed for time in the mornings, pack snacks the night before and keep ready in the fridge.
- Natural packaging: A small apple or a mandarin orange come in their own natural packaging, unlike a throw-away pouch of apple sauce or a snack container of mandarin pieces in syrup. Less processed food is better for your children’s health too!
- Reusable containers: Pack snacks and lunches in reusable containers with reusable cutlery. Stores offer clever lunch-boxes with nesting, dishwasher-proof, lidded containers just the right size for a recess snack, fruit slices or sandwich. They are fun to unpack, easy to re-close with leftovers and small enough to take down to the playground in a coat pocket.
- Wash me: Almost anything can be reused. Washing and reusing items we already have at home (like plastic bags or cutlery) will still be easier on the environment.
- Reuse don’t lose!: Make sure your children know to bring reusable containers back home - and don’t forget to put their names on bottles and boxes.