January is RRR (Re-use, reduce, recycle) month at Herndon Elementary; Jill and I (the Garden Ladies) are visiting classrooms and talking about re-using, reducing, recycling instead of throwing things away. We wear our recycled paper earrings and bring a coconut bowl. We show pictures of starburst wrapper bracelets and talk about using Tupperware instead of saran and real silverware instead of plastic.
Eventually there will be compost worms……
And maybe trash audits, but we are taking it slowly during this cold winter month and beginning with a presentation and game in which students sort objects into Re-use, recycle and compost bins. The students then make posters for the hallway or cafeteria instructing other students what to compost and what to throw away.
At the end of the month, we held a school-wide compost day.
We walked around with a cart to collect compost from breakfast in the classrooms. What we will do for the earth!
We then stood by the cafeteria trash cans and rescued banana peels, apple cores, carrots and lettuce from lunch trays. Also narrowly avoiding milk spills and pizza stains. Luckily we had lots of help….
We used this time to explain to students that these banana and orange peels, carrots, lettuce and apple slices would actually break down into beautiful soil for our garden (by next year). Most student were amazed and every student wanted to contribute!
How much does one school compost each day?
You be the judge (see pictures below). Our thoughts? We were pleasantly surprised that in a school of almost 1,000 students we had so little. HES students each their veggies!
We would need a lot more compost bins than we currently have if we were going to collect compost on a school wide level each day or even once a week…..but for now, we are content with the knowledge that our students learned about compost and we had some fun at the same time.
Hopefully students will take the knowledge from this month and use it wisely.
We were thinking that if one of our students encouraged their family or even their teacher to compost, Jill and I had earned our volunteer stripes…..and then……
The week after we collected, two students brought compost in from HOME (they are our new favorites)! Drop the mic….
So…..From what we can see, the students at HES, will make us proud.
Here are some RRR observations from a 2nd grade class (slideshow…watch them all!).
Vincent Van Gogh once said ‘Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.’
We think great things are done by the composting of banana and orange peels….and maybe an apple core.