Reducing Waste At School

Conserve resources and save money! For one-on-one assistance to find ways to reduce and reuse at your school, contact Cher Mohring or call 946-7737.

Reduce Waste at Lunch

Have recess before lunch to eliminate students' desire to rush through lunch for more recess time. Playing stimulates students’ appetites and thirst, encouraging them to consume instead of wasting food. 

Set up a food share table and donate what is not taken at the end of the lunch period.

Encourage students to pack a waste-free lunch
Print and pass out the Waste-Free Lunch Guidelines (hint: print landscape and double-sided and cut in half to save paper) for students to take home to their lunch packer.program.

Reduce Paper Waste

In the classroom
Create a paper reuse center. Set up a box where people can place paper with a blank side. Reuse this paper for calculations or drafts. Encourage students to turn in homework on the back of used paper, such as notices from school or old letterhead. Better yet, allow students to submit assignments via email.
Print double-sided.
Use both sides of notebook pages.
Reduce handouts by using smartboards, projectors, whiteboards, and blackboards.
Buy classroom materials that are durable.

In the school building
Instead of using paper towels, use sponges, rags, erasers, or reusable towels to clean.
Encourage students and staff to only use one paper towel to dry their hands.
Send newsletters and school publications via email or post notices on the school website.
Route messages and publications. Instead of distributing individual messages for all the staff, make one copy and attach a routing sheet.
Set double-sided printing as the default on all computers.
Suggest all documents use 0.75 margins.
Ask the PTA and office staff to print short notices two per page and cut sheets in half. Distribute important messages on the school/PTA website.

Host a Rummage or Exchange Sale

Parents and the community will appreciate a school rummage sale or trade day for toys, books, and outgrown clothing, including school uniforms. Arrange to donate leftovers to a local charity.

Conduct A Waste Audit

A waste audit is a way to see what a school’s garbage is made up of so that a plan can be made for reducing, reusing, and recycling. (As a bonus, use the data collected for real-world math lessons on weight and volume, and creating graphs and charts.)

Collect, sort, and weigh the waste. The audit can be carried out prior to the implementation of a school action plan to reduce waste and repeated after the school has implemented actions to reduce waste. From the data collected, the school will be able to measure the effectiveness of the plan.

Looking for more detail on how to conduct a waste audit? Contact the District at 513-946-7737. Also, there are many useful resources online.