The PTA Council Green Schools Committee promotes environmental education and awareness in school operations, curricula, and PTA programming. The Committee promotes environmental education and awareness in school operations, curricula, and PTA programs. It supports community action and service by working with partners in the Town. Green Schools meets monthly. The Chair(s) works with all pertinent District administrators and Town officials.
At OGS our Green Schools Reps have compiled a list of information that you can share with your children.
OGS Waste Reduction Program Update!
The waste reduction program is off to a productive start thanks to an amazing team effort between students, custodians, administration and parent volunteers! An average 38 pounds of liquids and recycling per day have already been removed from the waste stream using this new system, and the recycling contamination rate is at a record low. We achieved a 47% reduction in waste by weight! Ask your children to teach you what they learned about recycling in the school cafeteria!
Why is Recycling Cartons (like the milk cartons our children use in school) so important?
If we don’t recycle them they will end up in landfills.
If we do recycle…paper, aluminum and plastic recovered from recycled cartons can be used to make new products like paper towels, tissue paper and even building materials. A ton of paper made from recycled fibers conserves 7,000 gallons of water, up to 31 trees, 4,000 KWh of electricity and 60 lbs of air pollution.
- From Carton Council
Startling Facts Everyone Should Know…
The United States has 5% of the world’s population yet produces 30% of the world’s waste.
An estimated 250 million trees can be saved each year if every published newspaper is recycled.
The Earth has been around for 4.6 billion years, but in the past 100 years, people have caused a great deal of damage. We have destroyed 80% of the Earth’s forest and 40% of the Earth’s tropical rainforests. We can do better!
Every day, 50 to 100 species of plants and animals become extinct as their habitat is impacted by human activities.
Each day the average American generates up to 4lbs of trash and over the course of a year that could fill an entire baseball stadium. Aside of recycled materials, most of the trash ends up in landfills including some biodegradable materials which then release harmful methane gas (byproduct of decomposing waste) which then speeds up global warming.
The world is now producing nearly 300 million tons of plastic each year (shocking!), half of which is single-use, and more than eight million tons of which end up in our oceans. When the concept of single-use plastic was first introduced, no one imagined the disastrous effects it would have on our planet and the ocean.
The OGS Green Schools Committee is getting back to work in planning some fun new initiatives for students and ideas for parents on how we can all work together to keep our school community green. Back to school means back to basics so here is a round up of ideas for packing a waste-free lunch. We encourage you to use this opportunity to educate your children on why less waste in our landfills is one way we can help prevent climate change.
Please don’t use plastic baggies in packed lunches! Instead use alternatives that are recyclable or reusable (see links below). We have to do better!
Some fun facts on waste decomposition and how long these common items take to break down in the environment (approximately)
Glass bottle: 1 million years
Monofilament fishing line: 600 years
Plastic beverage bottles: 450 years
Disposable diapers: 450 years
Aluminum can: 80-200 years
Boot sole: 50-80 years
Styrofoam cup: 50 years
Tin can: 50 years
Leather: 50 years
Nylon fabric: 30-40 years
Plastic film canister: 20-30 years
Plastic bag: 10-20 years (???)
Cigarette filter: 1-5 years
Wool sock: 1-5 years
Plywood: 1-3 years
Waxed milk carton: 3 months
Apple core: 2 months
Newspaper: 6 weeks
Orange or banana peel: 2-5 weeks
Paper towel: 2-4 weeks
- From The Ocean Conservancy