The Wayne Elementary School’s WES Green Committee is a school-wide effort to provide education and information on “green” issues and to integrate “green” principles into school-sponsored events and classroom curriculum. WES Green’s goal is to inspire children to want to take care of their planet!
Programs sponsored by WES Green:
Stewardship of WES Grounds
Cool the Earth Play
Lunch Waste Reduction
Outdoor Classroom and
Houseteams: 2011/2012 “Green Theme”
Juice Pouches and Chip Bags
Wes Green supports and promotes the collection and reuse of juice drink pouches and snack chip bags. Bags are shipped to TerraCycle which converts the bags into totebags, backpacks, and a variety of other products (visit TerraCycle.net to learn more about this company and their products). Ms. Borine’s fifth grade students began collecting the juice bags last year. Ms. Lynch’s fourth graders are just kicking off the chip bag collection. Many children bring juice pouches in their lunchboxes and bring chips from home or buy them in the cafeteria. Juice pouch and chip bag collection bins can be found in each pod level and in the cafeteria —along side the bottle cap bin, the bottle recycling bin, and the garbage bins.
Juice pouches and chip bags are shipped free to TerraCycle, and WES receives 2 cents per recycled item! Through 2010, we have raised $12.54, and hope to reach $100 by the end of this school year! Please remind your children to sort their school lunch refuse appropriately. Every child counts.
We also appreciate empty juice pouches and chip bags brought in from home. This means you can save those items from team sports events and help support your school. (Please try to have the juice and chips emptied from bags before sending in. WES Green thanks Mrs. Borine and Mrs. Lynch and their students for their hard work in organizing these recycling activities.
Please remember to bring your clean bottle caps from home! Mr. Gray uses the collection of clean bottle caps from the cafeteria and from home to teach his students the basic operation of a production line (separating, sorting, counting and stocking). He plans on using the caps in art pieces that, we hope, will be auctioned at each WES Spring Fair. Bottle caps must be very clean, with no oily residue—we suggest slipping them in with your silverware in the dishwasher. Students must ask their teacher for an 'identification slip,’ write their name on the slip, attach it to their bundle of caps and drop them in the purple bin located outside Mr. Gray’s classroom door. Any bottle caps not used for the art projects will be brought to the Pottstown Recycling Center and recycled.
Household batteries are currently being accepted for recycling or proper disposal. Students and parents may bring in batteries (AAA, AA, C, D, 9V) that are not leaking. Battery recycling containers are located in the two main entryways. (Please, no car batteries or other large batteries.)
Periodically, WES will organize a recycling drive to assist families in recycling items from home (bicycles, used shoes, coats, etc.). Refer back to this page often to learn about upcoming drives! If you would like to suggest another recycling effort or volunteer to help organize a drive, please email Sophie Hayes. Please don’t hesitate to contact her with any questions.
Lunch Waste Reduction
A "trash-less” lunch is a lunch that produces no refuse that isn’t 100% biodegradable—no plastic or metal. Here are some ideas for packing a “trash-less” lunch:
1. Send beverages in a thermos or reusable bottle, not juice boxes or bottled water. Plastic water bottles can be put in a bin in the lunchroom to be recycled, however using and cleaning a reusable bottle is inherently less energy intensive. Stainless steel bottles are becoming very popular, as they are durable and do not pose the “chemical leaching” problem that some plastics do. Whatever reusable bottle your child may use, it should be thoroughly washed and dried between uses to avoid building bacteria.
2. Send food in reusable plastic containers, not plastic baggies. Avoid buying snacks that are pre-packaged as “single serving”; rather, buy larger containers of food (yogurt, raisins, crackers, etc.) and place the appropriate serving size into a reusable container. If you are considering buying a new lunch box, many websites such as www.reuseit.com offer “bento box” lunch kits that include reusable containers that fit conveniently inside, as well as a variety of aluminum food containers.
3. Send reusable utensils instead of using disposable ones. These should be brought home daily for cleaning.
4. Whole fruits and veggies are great items to include. Many come in their own natural packages (apples, oranges, bananas) and the trash they produce is 100% biodegradable. Grapes, carrots, and celery sticks are perfect for containers, and require no utensils to eat.
5. Make sure to clearly label each container with your child’s name and teacher’s name. This way, misplaced items can be easily returned to their owner.
6. If children are buying lunch, they may bring in their own plate and utensils. However, these must be brought home each day and cleaned. The school has had problems with dishes from home being left in the cafeteria.
WES Green has been working with the school lunch program to find ways to reduce waste. WES Green hopes to assist the school in converting to the use of reusable lunch trays from the present disposable Styrofoam lunch trays.
The Audubon “bird garden,” surrounding the 2nd grade classrooms and cafeteria, was conceived and funded by a collaboration between the WES PTO and the Radnor Conservancy. The garden provides an outdoor landscape for all students to learn about and appreciate native bird and plant species.
In Fall 2010, several improvements and additions to the gardens at WES were completed. Many plants were purchased with funds given to WES Green by the Radnor Conservancy. Mr. Dominic Demitis, a WES parent and owner of a landscaping company, Aberdeen Lawn & Garden, Inc., volunteered his labor to plant the specimens and provide hardscaping as follows:
· Two native elm trees (new disease resistant varieties) were planted near the back playground. These will one day provide shade as large canopy trees.
· Three Itea Henry's garnet shrubs that will provide several seasons of interest near the older student entry.
· Bulb boxes outside the 2nd grade classroom windows, where children can plant bulbs in pots, bury the pots in the fall and then bring bulbs home the following spring.
· Wooden posts outside kindergarten and 2nd grade classrooms. These posts can be used to hang bird feeders or mount bird houses.
· One redtwig dogwood and wine and roses weigela in 2nd grade gardens.
· 8 black-eyed susans in existing audubon garden.
WES Green would like to emphasize how much we appreciate Mr. Demitis’ generous help in making this all possible.
WES Nature Trail
In the woods to the right of the bus loop is the WES “outdoor classroom” and nature trail. The outdoor classroom provides a space for teachers to bring students for lessons on the natural world. The “trailhead” can be found near the basketball court. Students and their families are encouraged to take a nature walk after school! WES Green thanks Boy Scout Troop 507 for their help in maintaining and improving the nature trail.
WES Green hopes to install bat boxes at the Wayne Elementary School nature trail. Bat boxes encourage mosquito-eating bats to nest and raise their young in the area. Bats are important members of the ecosystem, and play a role in plant pollination and insect control. In locations where forests have been cut down, natural nesting sites may be difficult for bats to find. Bat boxes are typically mounted 10-15 feet above the ground in trees or on buildings.
Cool the Earth: The Play
This spring, students will put on the third installment of the play “Cool the Earth.” The play will impress upon the audience the importance of environmental stewardship, and will suggest ways for students and parents to reduce negative impacts to the climate. Mr. Goldstein will direct the WES Not-Ready-for-Prime-Time Thespians, and we know the students will look forward to booing him as the evil Mr. Carbon in this educational and fun-filled interactive production. The play’s costumes and script are provided by www.cooltheearth.org.
Cool the Earth Coupon booklets will help reinforce lessons presented in the play. Stay tuned for more information.
In Fall 2010, 2nd grade students learned about flower bulbs and planted 600 bulbs in the bulb beds outside the 2nd grade classrooms and in the Audubon Garden. The children will monitor the growth of the bulbs outside their classrooms’ windows. The 2nd graders eagerly anticipate a beautiful display of spring flowers!
House Teams: 2011/2012 “Green Theme”
House Teams are multi-grade student projects led by the older students with only peripheral guidance from teachers. As well as project-specific lessons, the students learn leadership and how to work as a team. WES Principal Dr. Sharon Johns has selected a “green” theme for the house teams of the 2011/2012 school year. More information will follow, and suggestions are welcome.
Radnor Township Green Page (Green Radnor)
PA Department of Environmental Protection for Kids
US EPA Environmental Kids Club
US EPA WaterSense for Kids – water conservation program
National Wildlife Federation for Kids
National Audubon Society
Cool the Earth