Plastic Film Challenge and Shoe Recycling: MES collected over 30 huge garbage bags of plastic as part of the CHaRM (Center for Hard to Recycle Materials) Plastic Film Challenge this past year! We also collected tons of shoes that were either donated or recycled to CHaRM as well. Check back soon for the 2019-2020 recycling programs for this school year likely to coincide with Earth Week.
Clothes Collection Bin: Donate unwanted clothing all year in our clothes collection bin located by the carpool lane. Even if an item is too worn to be used again, it will be recycled and repurposed. MES will get a check from the recycling company based on the weight of the donations.
"No Idle Zone: Please remember that MES has a No Idle Policy. Do not leave your car running when you are outside the school. According to the EPA, "idling vehicles contribute to air pollution and emit air toxins, which are pollutants known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects. Monitoring at schools has shown elevated levels of benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and other air toxics during the afternoon hour coinciding with parents picking up their children. Children’s lungs are still developing, and when they are exposed to elevated levels of these pollutants, children have an increased risk of developing asthma, respiratory problems and other adverse health effects. Limiting a vehicle’s idling time can dramatically reduce these pollutants and children’s exposure to them."
Why Reduce Lunch Waste? A child taking a disposable lunch to school will create an average of 67 lbs. of trash a year. If half of MES students brought disposable lunches, it would result in over 32,000 lbs. of lunch waste a year. On average over 69,000 Ziploc bags go to the landfill each year from MES alone. We have a Zero Waste lunch challenge every year during Earth Week.
- What is a Zero Waste Lunch?
- Any lunch that favors the use of reusable packaging:
- Reusable sacks
- Reusable food containers (avoid plastic baggies!)
- Reusable eating utensils
- Cloth napkins
- Minimizing snacks/foods sold in single-serve sizes, which use more packaging and create more waste
- Tips for reducing waste as well as saving time and money:
- Buy in bulk & repack into individually reusable containers. For example, buy large containers of yogurt and applesauce and spoon into smaller containers for lunch.
- Resealable containers make it easy for children to save uneaten food for an after-school snack. Use them for cut-up fruits and vegetables. Make sure your kid can open them and label them with your child’s name.
- Maximize leftovers. Prepare extra servings at dinnertime for the next day's lunches—transfer them directly to lunch containers as you clean up.
- Pack lunches the night before and store them in the refrigerator overnight.
- Recycling FAQ's, here
"Green Cleaning: To support a healthy learning environment for our children, MES is committed to using safer cleaning products. Many common cleaning products contain ingredients that can exacerbate asthma, allergies, and even cause cancer. We use the Environmental Working Group to select the best possible products and encourage you to check out the ratings of products in your own home. Read here for more about selecting safer cleaning products and here for other great tips on creating a healthy environment for kids."
"We are always looking for ways to enhance sustainability efforts at MES. Please email the Sustainability Chairs with your observations and ideas for improvement."PTA Sustainability Chair: Kate Hodgins & Neha Pathak