St. Thomas More students reduce trash by 66 percent in one week
Students at St. Thomas More Catholic School in Chapel Hill reduced the amount of trash that they produced during lunch by 66 percent during Waste-Free Lunch Week. Through a combination of recycling, up-cycling, using reusable containers and composting, they reduced their trash from 24 bags to eight bags in just one week.
During the project, students sorted their trash by identifying recyclables and compostable materials. Teachers taught the students how to compost, and parents assisted with separating recyclables. Milk cartons were up-cycled by inserting the used and cleaned cartons into the playground fence, creating an insulating barrier to protect the playground from wind.
"Everyone pitched in - students and their parents, teachers and administrators at the school. It was a true community effort," says Julie Malloy, a St. Thomas More parent of three and a coordinator of the project.
"If our school can do this in one week, just imagine what can happen if everyone did this every day," says St. Thomas More third-grader Isaac Jung.
"I'm very proud of our kids - they took this project very seriously," adds Dr. Michael Ashton, St. Thomas More's principal. "It just goes to show what we can do when we put our minds to it. And the results are spectacular."