StopWaste at School


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In 2009, Irvington was recognized as "America's Greenest School" in a competition sponsored by IC Bus Company.  Irvington has established a number of student led environmental clubs, created a "Green Commissioner" position in student government, and created grade-level wide environmental service-learning projects.  Between 2007-2009, Irvington has diverted over 100,000 pounds of e-waste from landfills, installed solar panels, worked to increase energy efficiency, hosted a community green fair and more. 

More Than Meets The Eye

Tully Mintey’s Sculpture 1 class celebrated Earth Day at Irvington High School by mounting an exhibition featuring the creative reuse of cardboard.

The project started over a month ago when Mr. Mintey asked students to draw their idea of a robot.  Students worked then worked in groups to assemble the best features of their individual drawings into one master design concept.  Mintey’s class watched a video on the creative reuse of materials in art projects and sustainable craft making, vialis 40mg then watched the 1980’s animated Transformers movie.  Classroom discussions focused on the use of stacked boxy geometric shapes as the foundational design element of the 1980’s robots.

Students working in teams created life-sized robot models with unique features.  A number of the designs were built as robot costumes that are wearable by an actor.  Other groups scoured the trash to find inspiration to add to their robot’s creativity.

The robots are on display at Irvington’s Black Box Theatre April 22-23.

Helping to reduce waste before it starts

Small green cup, big brown boxSmall green cup, big brown boxRecently, a package arrived at the household of Irvington teacher Clint Johns in Fremont, CA.  The package was for his wife and contained a small glass cup she had ordered online.  The Johns' family was shocked by the large size of the packaging compared to the item that was ordered.  Modeling best practices that Johns hopes to instill in his students, he crafted a letter to the company encouraging them to do better:

Good morning,

My wife just received a package from your company that was completely oversized and on the invoice indicated “We’re sorry, but 1 unit(s) of the following item were not available in the warehouse. You will not be invoiced for this item until it ships”. My wife ordered a 5 oz glass cup (customer … order …) and it came in a box measuring 6”x8”x10”; the box is several magnitudes in size larger than it needs to be in order to package a glass cup. We are extremely shocked at such an excessive package and want your department to be aware of this.

We will be most certainly NOT be purchasing from this company again unless change has been implemented and shudder at the thought that the rest of this order will be coming in an equally oversized package that wastes even more natural resources. If in conversation our friends suggest purchasing from your company, we will NOT be speaking highly of your business practices with regards to social stewardship. Please take a stand and use socially responsible packaging in your business model, as it does impact your bottom line with how customers perceive your business.

Thank you in advance,

Clint Johns

Irvington Featured on Planet Green TV

Irvington High School is featured in this month's episode of "Living with Ed" on Planet Green TV. Host Ed Begley Jr. tours Irvington High School to learn more about the features and programming that led to the school being selected as "America's Greenest School."

Irvington Plans a Garden

Irvington High School is working to reclaim an abandoned area of campus that was once the site of temporary buildings and turn it into a learning garden for the school.

Students are already building planter beds out of reclaimed lumber and a design committee has started its work.  The garden will be organized to reflect the cultural diversity of Irvington High School with different areas of the garden growing vegetables from different continents of the world.  10th grade World History teachers hope to use the garden to develop and promote cultural understanding, and plans are in the works to engage senior citizens from Fremont's immigrant communities to teach principles of agriculture and gardening.

This year, Irvington plans to work with Seeds of Change to produce starter kits of seeds to sell on earth day as a fundraiser for the garden.  Teacher Michelle Stone has harvested native California Buckeye seeds from her father's tree which she plans to use in a service-learning project with her special education students.  Students will cultivate seedling starts to sell as well.

Irvington has a tradition of innovative garden programming that has laid dormant since the previous garden was plowed under to make way for a new cafeteria three years ago.  Disabled students developed and maintained the original garden as a job skill development site.  Organic produce from the garden found its way onto the menu of a local restaurant.  A micro-enterprise developed selling eggs from the henhouse to families that attended weekend Chinese School on campus.

Teachers hope that the new garden will help capture student's energy and imagination for environmental topics including sustainable agriculture and organic produce.

Students Draw Inspritation from Warhol

Painted BinPainted BinDrawing inspiration from Andy Warhol's Endangered Species prints, students in Gina Holmberg's Art 1 class created stencils of extinct animals to decorate recycling bins on campus.

A lesson plan from the Warhol Museum can help teachers get started with a similar project at their school: