Edgewood Elementary School

Current Status:

Entry Level - Certified on 4/10/15, Expires on 4/10/18

About the Edgewood OGS Program:

Edgewood Community Elementary School launched its Green Team in January 2015, but its waste reduction and resource conservation efforts have been going for years. Every September, the students are coached on the cafeteria rules, which includes pouring out milk containers into a bucket and putting the cartons in a garbage pail. Students who prefer water to drink at lunch are asked to use durable cups instead of disposable ones. Students who get hot lunch use durable trays and durable utensils. Also, the condiments--such as ketchup, mayonnaise and salad dressings--are in bulk containers instead of individual packets.

In addition, students have been putting fruit and vegetable scraps into a compost bucket, which was dumped in the compost bin in the school garden. When the school garden program temporarily disbanded in September 2014 due to the lead teacher's retirement, students still separated their fruit and vegetable scraps--to continue to instill the practice of composting. That practice was expanded in February 2015, when Edgewood joined the Love Food, Not Waste composting program, which includes all meat, dairy and paper products in addition to fruit and vegetable scraps.

Each classroom at Edgewood has a small recycling bin, and each of the 5 quads has a large blue recycling bin for commingled recycling. The office houses two recycling bins. As part of the education and training of students, fifth-graders collect the commingled recycling bins from each quad and the office and bring them to the SaniPac recycling dumpster.

How do you publicize your program?

Since the launch of the Green Team, environmental news has been featured on the Edgewood Elementary Facebook page, which is only open to Edgewood families.

Green Team news and eco-friendly tips for families has been featured on the back of the monthly PTA newsletter since March 2015, and the newsletter was officially launched in December 2014.

The Green Team is planning Earth Day activities, which will include the unveiling of a new bike rack, the promotion of an electronics recycling competition in April 2015, the announcement of the winner of the Green Team logo student art contest and a demonstration by Pedal Power. These activities, in addition to certification as a Green School and the subsequent assembly, will help promote the Green Team's efforts.

How does your parent group (PTA/PTO) participate and support your program?

The Edgewood PTA has included sustainability in several of its programs without a Green Team in place. For example, during the 2014 Fun Night (a community building and fundraising event), Master Recyclers helped sort the trash and show people which items were recyclable. The Master Recyclers helped reduce the amount of trash from that event tremendously.

Since the Green Team was formed, the Green Team coordinator has reported all news to the PTA, which has been supportive of all efforts launched by the Green Team, including the launch of Love Food, Not Waste; the application to Oregon Green Schools; and a series of events for Earth Day 2015.

The PTA approved the request by the Green Team to use the entire back page of the PTA newsletter for Green Team news and green tips for parents.

How do you practice resource conservation in your everyday operations?

Edgewood actively conserves resources in most of our everyday operations.

In the cafeteria, students know how to dump their recyclable items in one bin, any trash in another, and all fruit/veggie scraps in another. Milk cartons are emptied into a bucket and left for the Spencer Butte Green Team to pick up, rinse and recycle. This is the third year that Edgewood’s cafeteria has used durable plastic utensils (forks and spoons), which are collected in a bucket and washed for reuse. Students also use durable trays for their hot lunches and use durable cups if they need water.

Two years ago, most of Edgewood’s exterior lights—including in the breezeways—were retrofitted with LEDs. Five years ago, the HVAC system was upgraded to more efficient operation. Lights with motion sensors automatically go off when not in use in the gym, music room and all bathrooms throughout the school.

All student bathrooms also feature auto-flush toilets and automatic sink faucets to avoid water wastage. On the playing fields, all water irrigation is automatic as well.

Cleaning products used at Edgewood, from the sanitizers to the soap in the bathroom soap dispensers, are Green Seal certified. The toilet paper and paper towels are Green Seal certified and made from 100-percent recycled fiber.

The school office contains two recycling bins, and each classroom contains a recycling bin and a garbage bin. Each of the five quads contains a large blue recycling bin for commingled recycling. Fifth-graders are assigned the important duty of collecting all the commingled recycling bins from the office and each quad and bringing it to the dumpster area.

Fluorescent light bulbs are saved and recycled by 4J’s electricians.

In the busy drop-off zone outside the school, NO IDLE ZONE signs ask drivers to be conscious of air quality.

How do you integrate resource conservation into extra-curricular events?

For fundraisers, celebrations and special events outside of school, all efforts are made to conserve resources.

During Edgewood’s annual Fall Fun Run, runners are motivated by blasting music—all provided by Pedal Power. Diligently biking volunteers generate the power to keep the party hopping. The children are asked to bring their own water bottles. Those that forget receive paper cups marked with their names to prevent wastage. The cups are recycled afterward.

Pedal Power also provided energy for the lights for our Sol Seed Family Dance Night this year, inspiring children as they pumped away on a bicycle next to the reggae band.

For the Thanksgiving Harvest Lunch, children followed the same procedures for recycling and composting their waste as on a normal lunch day, ensuring as little as possible goes to the landfill. 

 

Until June 2014, Edgewood had a very active and productive Garden Club, spearheaded by first-grade teacher and master gardener Julie Hulme. All grades took part in planting, maintaining and harvesting the produce. The garden was fertilized using compost from our cafeteria. However, upon Julie's retirement from Edgewood, we found ourselves temporarily without a green-thumb leader and thus allowed the garden to go fallow for part of a year. However, Robin Detmer is restoring the garden and hoping to integrate it even more successfully into the school routine for all grades next year--as well as into the after-school garden club run by the School Garden Project!

 

Last year, 35 children participated in the Coyote Kids! after-school nature camp at Edgewood run by Whole Earth Nature School. The weekly two-hour program offers grades 1-5 the opportunity to learn about our connection to the Earth, using games, skills, trainings and real (often dirty!) experiences. Wilderness-savvy instructors teach students how to have respect for their natural surroundings, including how to conserve, recycle and tread lightly. In turn, the students can earn certificates for the specific “nature learning pathway” offered during the semester.

 

In addition, Whole Earth Nature School teaches kids a 25-minute interactive Nature School Days program in the Fall, and again in the Spring. That is a no-fee program offered to all classes from 1st through 5th. This year at Edgewood (fall and spring), instructors probably taught about 250 kids in the fall and another 250 kids in the spring.

Data Collection and Monitoring (Important Info):

- Our last Waste Audit was on 1/27/15

- Approximate Recovery Rate: 40%

How we Reduce and Reuse:

  • In the cafeteria, students are provided with durable cups for water instead of disposable ones. Students who get hot lunch use durable trays and durable utensils, which are washed and reused. Also, the condiments--such as ketchup, mayonnaise and salad dressings--are in bulk containers instead of individual packets.

  • In addition, students have been putting fruit and vegetable scraps into a compost bucket, which was dumped in the compost bin in the school garden. When the school garden program temporarily disbanded in September 2014 due to the lead teacher's retirement, students still separated their fruit and vegetable scraps--to continue to instill the practice of composting. That practice was expanded in February 2015, when Edgewood joined the Love Food, Not Waste composting program, which includes all meat, dairy and paper products in addition to fruit and vegetable scraps.

  • Edgewood also runs several FreeCycle events throughout the year for families to reuse clothing. Families drop off clothes, shoes and jackets, which are washed and dried by volunteers. Then the clothes are placed on tables at an event, and families are free to take what they need. These events mean that families are not purchasing new clothing every time their child grows!

  • Each classroom at Edgewood has a small recycling bin, and each of the 5 quads has a large blue recycling bin for commingled recycling. The office houses two recycling bins. As part of the education and training of students, fifth-graders collect the commingled recycling bins from each quad and the office and bring them to the SaniPac recycling dumpster.

  • In addition, the office reuses several items. Manila and regular-size envelopes are kept in a drawer for anyone to use, a cabinet houses clipboards for volunteers or teachers to use in the classrooms, and big pieces of cardboard are stored in the copy room for use by students on presentations or crafts.

How we Save Energy/Water:

  • Two years ago, most of Edgewood’s exterior lights—including in the breezeways—were retrofitted with LEDs.

  • Five years ago, the HVAC system was upgraded to a more efficient operation.

  • There is no boiler at Edgewood, so there is no oil used as fuel.

  • Lights with motion sensors automatically go off when not in use in the gym, music room and all bathrooms throughout the school.

  • Every fall, EWEB comes to Edgewood to conduct an energy demonstration for students to understand how electricity is generated and how much energy it takes to run a lightbulb. EWEB's activity is hands-on--with the use of hand generators--to ensure that the students understand the concept.

  • All student bathrooms also feature auto-flush toilets and automatic sink faucets to avoid water wastage.

  • On the playing fields, all water irrigation is automatic as well.

Current Goals:

Reduce Waste - Goal 1: Reduce food waste by implementing ways to make our Love Food, Not Waste commercial composting program run smoothly.

Steps-to-Achieve: 

(1) Train parents and students to help people sort their waste in the proper bins during lunch time in the cafeteria.

(2) Work with facilities supervisor Bert to make sure the system works well.

(3) Order compost bins for teachers who want them in their classrooms and help them create a system for dumping the compost during lunchtime.

Reduce Waste - Goal 2: Switch from disposable dishware to durableware for the 5th grade graduation ceremony, the Harvest Lunch, and Fun Night, the biggest garbage producing events at Edgewood.

Steps-to-Achieve: 

(1) Find durableware for rent or purchase to accommodate the 600+ people who attend each of these 3 events,

(2) determine a way to clean the durableware after each use,

(3) determine where to store the durableware if we choose to purchase it.

Recycling - Goal 1: Increase recycling and the understanding of recycling by students and staff by conducting an education program on recycling.

Steps-to-Achieve: 

(1) Contact Master Recyclers or BRING about a reduce, reuse, recycle program for students

(2) Contact teachers about the best timing for this kind of education

(3) Set up a day for the education program to occur

(4) Provide any needed support to the educators of the program

Recycling - Goal 2: Promote the reuse and recycling of school supplies.

Steps-to-Achieve: 

(1) Organize a Freecycle event for the swapping of usable school supplies.

(2) Partner with TerraCycle to recycle the items that no longer work.

Energy - Goal 1: Educate students about energy needed for electricity.

Steps-to-Achieve: 

(1) Contact PedalPower about seting up a demonstration for each class for kids to bike to light up a lightbulb.

(2) Contact teachers about the best timing for this kind of education

(3) Set up a day for the education program to occur

(4) Provide any needed support to the educators of the program

Energy - Goal 2: Promote alternative forms of transportation

Steps-to-Achieve: 

(1) Partner with Safe Routes to Schools to get ideas about promoting alternative forms of transportation.

(2) Conduct parent surveys and classroom tallies about how students currently arrive at school and go home from school.

(3) Work with Safe Routes to Schools to write an action plan for alternative forms of transportation at Edgewood.

(4) Participate in Safe Routes to School's Bike and Walk Challenge Month.

Water - Goal 1: Reduce water use through promoting throughout the school.

Steps-to-Achieve: 

(1) Apply for a grant or a donation for the rain barrel and (2) ask Bert, our custodian, for help installing it.

Water - Goal 2: Implement "Take Back the Tap" campaign to promote the use of tap water instead of bottled water.

Steps-to-Achieve: 

(1) Use this Web site: www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/take-back-the-tap/ for steps, info and posters.

Upcoming Events:

- Nothing right now!

Ongoing Projects:

(1) Recycling

(2) Composting

(3) Monitoring – What’s in that smelly dumpster?

Would you like to help Edgewood at being greener?

 

Contact Joshua Frankel – greenschools@live.com / 541-636-0096. He is the local OGS coordinator, and he will get you everything you need including:

  • The Oregon Green Schools application.

  • The information you need to schedule your waste audit/garbage sort.

  • A list of sample goals.

Together we can help your school save money, reduce waste, and conserve energy/water. Thanks for participating in the Oregon Green Schools program!

(This page was updated: 9/24/16.)