Skip to Content

Next >

Ethel M Johnson - 2009

Contact: Karen Hardie

Team Name: Room 4

Campaign Goal:

To reduce the amount of waste created in the lunchroom, by encouraging the use of reusable containers, increasing recycling options, and vermicomposting organic waste. The way for measuring this goal is through weekly draw tickets for students with litterless lunches. We hope to see an increase in the number of tickets handed out each week, thus showing that more students are bringing litterless lunches.

What did we do?

  • Implemented “No Waste Wednesdays” as a school-wide litterless lunch campaign
  • Recycle paper, tin and all beverage containers (including milk)
  • Will recycle plastics as soon as facilities are brought to our community
  • Vermicompost food waste, with resulting compost being added to the school’s natural areas.
  • Students with no-waste lunches are entered into a weekly prize that encourages environmental stewardship (i.e., re-usable containers, products made from recycled materials).
  • Encouraging students, staff and parents to shop more conscientiously to purchase foods that do not have excess packaging and waste.
  • Communicated this information to students and parents in means that have minimal impact on the environment
  • Announcements at assemblies and over PA system
  • Articles in school newsletter (sent electronically to parents)
  • Displays made of reused paper

The Best Part

Seeing the excitement in the children on No Waste Wednesdays. I have heard several students in the school cheering when they realized it was No Waste Wednesday. Also, when the weekly draw winners were announced, the students were quite energized.


It is important to have several discussions with the lunchroom staff to establish routines regarding the increased recycling and vermicomposting. The lunchroom staff is such an integral part of this program and ensuring that they are on-board with the campaign is critical.

Comments about the Campaign

  • “I love No Waste Wednesday. When I won a water bottle it made my heart smile.” ~Lisa, Grade 1 Student
  • “EMJ is encouraging ALL students to participate in No Waste Wednesdays. This wonderful program is educating children that there are alternative solutions when packing their lunches that will help reduce the amount of garbage they bring to school. It has taught the students that EACH of them can truly make a difference - one small act or gesture can lead to GREAT things!" ~Allyson Price, Parent
  • “I am so proud to be one of the gatherers of recyclables for our EMJ students. Because of the great communication (weekly P.A. reminders) by Mrs. Hardie's students, the general population of the school, including the staff members, are starting to "pre-think" their lunches, remembering to reduce what goes in the landfills on Wednesdays. Kids (and of course their parents), are making better choices with fewer wrappers, less packaging and more recyclables. We definitely have less waste on Wednesdays.” ~Kerry White-Tucker, Teacher
  • “Mrs. Hardie, I would like to complement you and the students in your classroom on the ideas of recycling in the school. I supervise the grade 6 students over the lunch period in Room 2. The students are active in placing their items in the bins you have provided. The two students that come from your class are well mannered and talk to the grade 6s about recycling and composting on Wednesdays and have given tickets to the students for draws if they follow the instructions. This is a fantastic program and teaches the students to think about recycling and how it will affect their lives as adults." ~Allison Crawford, Lunchroom Supervisor
  • “I continue to be impressed with the dedication to conservation shown by the students in Mrs. Hardie's class. Their enthusiasm is inspiring and has made No Waste Wednesdays very successful. My own children review the contents of their lunch bag each Wednesday to ensure that they meet the "No Waste" standard and I often see students looking for the green bins in the lunchroom other days of the week too. Keep up the good work.” ~Whitney Darby, Co-Chair EMJ School Council

Did We Reach our Goal?

So far, we have had No Waste Wednesdays for one month. We are seeing an increase in recycling at the school and a slight increase in the number of students each week with litterless lunches. To ensure that all parents are aware of the program, we will have a display set up during parent-teacher interviews this week. We hope that this will increase the number of students with litterless lunches.