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Hillhurst School - 2011

Team Name: The Green Machine

Team Type: Club

Campaign Goal:

We had two main goals in our campaign. The first one was to educate students and staff about composting and how simple it is to create a more environmentally friendly school. As a school we have a responsibility to protect the earth and prevent our school from leaving a large footprint. Our second goal was to compost to create soil naturally for our gardens. This is a more environmentally friendly way to get soil/fertilizer and will minimize our footprint on the earth.




What did we do?

    October Assembly-introduced school to composting


  • skit (compost heroes)
  • information on proper method to compost
  • audience participation (which bin to put compost, paper, juice box)
  • PowerPoint presentation to individual classes by DC members

  • Composting – get buckets of compost from classes

  • transport to wooden compost bins outside
  • dump compost into wooden bins
  • wash and re-bag collection buckets
  • return to classes
  • done at the end of each week

  • Announcements – DC members give issues on waste in our world

  • how to solve the issues
  • fun facts

  • January Assembly – showed graphs on PowerPoint on much electricity heat, and water Hillhurst School used in 2009-2010 and how much less we have used in the school in 2010


    Made reminder posters from paper out of the recycling bins. Placed posters in prominent places around the school to remind students to use both sides of the paper and to rethink- “do I need to use this piece of paper?”


The Best Part

The best part of our campaign was seeing how much more responsible and environmentally aware the students in our school became. In our first few weeks of composting, the bins in general were quite empty. A few of the items in the bins were also not compostable, such as pizza.

After a few weeks of composting, the bins began to fill up with compostable items such as orange peels, banana peels, and apple cores.


Advice

The advice we have for other schools is to take the time to make sure that all the students understand the composting process before you begin. We went into each classroom and presented a fun PowerPoint that outlined each step in the composting process. We also explained why we thought it was important for our school to compost their fruits and veggies, but we also wanted everyone to first of all reduce the amount of waste by eating their fruits and vegetables and really only needing to compost peels and cores.

Looking after the compost buckets and bins is a lot of work. We have to clean all the buckets out every Friday at lunch time, so it is a time commitment for students.


Comments about the Campaign

What do you think about composting at Hillhurst?

Ms.Chan-teacher: think it is really good. “I think it really helps kids be aware of what they are throwing in the garbage. It maybe even encourages kids to do at home!”

Mrs.Morrison-Principal: I think it is a great initiative and is changing habits of kids. I’ve noticed kids standing by the bin outside waiting to throw out their compost. It is well managed and DC does a great job emptying the bins so that the compost doesn’t get stinky.”

Mrs. Luchuck-teacher: Fabulous, the whole city should do it. It is going to change Hillhurst’s gardens a lot!

Mrs. Watt-teacher: It is a wonderful program! Hillhurst is getting better and better. You are changing Hillhurst! You are doing a great job!”

Ms. Palmer – Great program – the students are doing a great job and are now aware of putting vegetables and fruits in the compost bucket and not the garbage

Ms. Dupuis – I think it is a great idea and the students are doing a great job!

Mr. Raddatz – Assistant Principal – It’s a wonderful idea and I’m glad the school is doing it. I can’t wait to see what happens next.


Did We Reach our Goal?

Yes, we reached one of our goals. Every class and the staff are using the compost buckets at recess and lunch. Students are using the outside bucket too.

No, we did not reach our goal of producing soil to add to our school gardens. We began composting in October and the composting fruits and veggies have been frozen inside the compost bins. Hopefully, we will get some soil by September.


What we are most proud of

We are proud of the composting because people are actually using the compost buckets every week, and 99.9% of the time people put in the right “stuff”. It is important because at the beginning of the year we asked people to compost and they did! It is also important because composting reduces the amount of stuff in landfills and organic soil helps plants grow, and plants reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.


What we are planning to work on next

For our next campaign, we want to try doing a litterless lunch program. We were inspired to try it from other schools that were presently doing the program and learned a bit more about it from the program at the March DC workshop. We plan on starting out by encouraging more and more kids to bring litterless lunches because it is also another way to help reduce waste other than composting and recycling.


Additional Info

We would like to thank ConocoPhillips for the $1000 grant they awarded us last year. We were able to have our outside compost bins constructed using that money. We also received a grant for $1000 this year as well which were are using to buy a pitch fork and shovel, a sturdy outside bin for students to use for their compost as well as a good supply of biodegradable bags to line our compost buckets with. We need to also thank the CBE Eco-team as we will use $100 from them for more ecological resources to use in the school.