• Sustainability at MES

    Sustainability is one of the core values promoted by our SWAG committee. We believe in being respectful of our local community, and that starts with being mindful of minimizing the toll that our school activites take on our land and our air. Throughout the year, our SWAG committee looks for opportunities to promote sustainable practices within and around the school and to bring greater awareness of caring for Planet Earth to all MES students. Please swim back soon to learn more about our planned sustainability activities and initiatives for the 2023-2024 school year!

    If you have questions about sustainability at MES, or have suggestions for future green initiatives at the school, please contact Jackie Townley, the VP of SWAG.

    Earth Week

    MES loves Earth Week! Every spring, our SWAG committee plans events and learning opportunities for our school community to celebrate the Earth we live on. For Earth Week 2023, our SWAG committee partnered with our Dolphins Do Good community service committee to host a clean up event at Herbert Taylor Park, organized a school-wide Walk to School day, brought in goats to inspire our younger students to think about Earth-friendly lawn care, and created solar bead bracelets with our older grades to remind them about the awesome power of the sun. Please be sure to swim back in Spring 2024 to learn more about our plans for next year's Earth Week! 

    Past Sustainability Initiatives at MES

    Walk to School Days: Always a favorite! Our SWAG committee organized two Walk to School Day efforts during the 2022-2023 school year to encourage our kids to think about Earth-friendly options for getting to school! 

    Yard Sign Recycling: In the fall of 2022, our SWAG committee saw the plethora of campaign signs and Halloween "Boos" popping up around our neighborhood and knew that something needed to be done before all those signs ended up in landfills! Over the course of just a few weeks, MES community members "donated" hundreds of old yard signs that were all recycled via CHaRM (Center for Hard to Recycle Materials) in order to find new life as something new!

    Establishing a No Idle Zone Around MES: Thanks to this past effort, MES now has a No Idle Policy. Please 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."

    Clothes Collection Bin: In past years, MES families have been able to donate unwanted clothing in a clothes collection bin located by the carpool lane. 

    Plastic Film Challenge and Shoe Recycling: During the 2018-2019 school year, MES collected over 30 huge garbage bags of plastic as part of the CHaRM (Center for Hard to Recycle Materials) Plastic Film Challenge!  We also collected tons of shoes that were either donated or recycled to CHaRM as well.  

    Campaign to Reduce Lunch Waste at MES: 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. As part of this campaign, the MES SWAG committee worked to highlight how students can bring in "Zero Waste" lunches and tips for reducing lunch waste over time:

    • 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
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