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Panorama Hills - 2015

Contact: Cat Dorsey

Team Name: Real Recyclers Club

Team Type: Club

Campaign Goal:

The problem was large amounts of garbage thrown out at lunch time. We challenged students to bring litterless lunches every Wednesday for a month.

What did we do?

  • Plan: Recruited 7 members as representatives from all the Grade 3 classes
  • Brainstormed ideas of how to reduce waste in our school
  • Implementation: Invited a representative from each of the Grade 1 and 2 classes to join our club
  • Set up an account with EveryBottleCounts where a money prize would be draw for schools who submit their results in regularly: Our milk monitors counted, washed, and sorted recycled items
  • Communication: We made posters, announcements, made prizes
  • Recorded data by surveying in classrooms in teams (One Grade 3 Mentor and one Grade 1 and Grade 2 Mentee) at lunch time twice a week (Waste-Free Wednesdays and a Normal or Fun Lunch day)

The Best Part

Seeing students motivated and engaged in choosing a station to help out with during Club days: trophy building, bracelet/necklace weaving, poster making, announcement writing, or display making


Our biggest challenge was making the time to tackle waste reduction in many different ways without making it too complicated for Div.1 students. Mentors and regular club meetings and tasks helped a great deal. Our advice: Start the data collecting early and co-create deadlines with students. Open the discussion to other teachers, grades and parents who may have specialties, skills, and materials to lend.

Comments about the Campaign

Classes enjoyed the Class Cup, which was a trophy that a different class who made the biggest waste reduction in a week could host. Each winning class could add 2-3 recyclable items to the cup to make it grow before passing it on to the next week’s winners. Students who championed the Waste-Free Wednesday challenge won braided bracelets and necklaces made from recycled shopping bags.

Did We Reach our Goal?

Although we are still doing the challenge for litterless lunches once a week: - most classes cut their waste at lunch times in half - students learned about ways to reduce waste by using reusable containers, wash ziplock bags, bring home recyclable items they once thought were garbage - peeled and cut vegetables and fruits and given a taste of healthy snack/food alternatives that can be packaged in reusable containers instead of plastic wrap or come in wrappers (will be done in June) We are still investigating, but are finding that the challenge has improved some classes waste by a significant amount. -BEFORE: Average pieces of waste thrown out per students 2.74 -AFTER: Average pieces of waste thrown out per student 2.07

What we are planning to work on next

  • Continue Waste-Free Wednesdays
  • Exercise better sorting of waste with a variety of bins
  • Provide school with various bins for better waste sorting as well as systems to remove the waste/recycling
  • Open use of composting by the Kindergarteners
  • Host healthy snack making with non-club members
  • Waste-Free Wednesday every week from the beginning of the year
  • Invited younger members (Grade 1 and 2s) in hope that they will want to continue the waste management lessons learnt this year and potentially create/join an environmental club next year