StopWaste at School


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Oakland High

Eco-Matic - EarthTeam May 2012 Students of the Month

~Republished from EarthTeam ~

Eco-MaticEco-MaticOakland High School's EcoMatic interns are the EarthTeam Students of the Month for May 2014. What started as a simple gathering of students interested in helping green Oakland High's campus this past Winter blossomed into much more. EarthTeam interns at Oakland High named themselves "Ecomatic" as a nod to their goal of making ecological thinking automatic among their peers. They quickly got to work collaborating with neighboring EarthTeam student interns at Castlemont high to learn more about their waste system and how to best make changes on campus to influence student behavior and culture. 

They went on field trips to the landfill to learn more about the larger systems in which they and their schools work within as well as a trip to Cal Berkeley's dining hall to see how food waste is dealt with on a large UC campus, all the while expanding their ideas to bring back to their campus. Finally, interns headed to the LEAF conference in May to participate in a variety of workshops and link up with other student leaders from throughout the county around sustainability efforts. 

We are proud of the Oakland High Ecomatic and look forward to working with you all again next year! 

For more photos of the EcoMatic check out Oakland High School's EarthTeam Instagram account @EarthTeamOaklandHS

Oakland High Launches Cafeteria Waste Diversion

Waste stations at Oakland HighWaste stations at Oakland HighAfter a waste audit conducted by Oakland High's Environmental Science Academy (ESA) revealed that 87% of lunch time waste in the trash could have been composted or recycled, students took action.

ESA's Waste Audit Data

Working with teachers, custodians and staff from Oakland Unified School District, ESA students helped design and launch a lunch time waste reduction campaign. Building on the district's prior successes in cafeteria waste diversion, students helped set up sorting stations to collect food scraps, recyclables, compostable food trays, and uneaten food.

Oakland High School serves over 1700 students on a closed campus during one lunch period, so outreach and preparation were keys to a successful program launch.

ESA students help monitor the stationsESA students help monitor the stations

Students from the ESA provided outreach and awareness by creating posters and through peer to peer education. The bulk of the work was led by 10 seniors in ESA with senior porjects focused on waste reduction. In addition to leading the design and outreach campaign, they also volunteered to monitor the bins to help make sure other students were using them correctly.

On April 22, 2013, Earth Day, Oakland High School launched its program. At first, custodians were concerned that students wouldn't use the new stations, but ESA teacher Katie Noonan reports that the first day was a huge success, "[It] was so successful that the custodians turned the extra landfill cans over so they wouldn't be available. At the same time I visited each table and invited students to try out our new recycling station. Since there was no obvious alternative, they did it. This resulted in many fewer trays being abandoned on the lunch tables.  The custodians were happy, too."

After just two days, the stations had already diverted over 32 pounds of recyclable bottles and cans and over 160 pounds of compostable trays and food scraps .

Indeed, by the end of the week, the extra trash cans were removed from the cafeteria and custodial staff reported that the students were doing a great job cleaning tables now that the new sorting stations are in place.

On Friday, ESA students organized a courtyard rally to celebrate their successes and encourage others to get involved by singing a rousing rendition of Build a Better Future.

Oakland High's cafeteria features other innovations including a hydration station to refill water bottles. The school also participates in OUSD's initaitve featuring "California Food for California Kids" designed to improve the quality of meals while also reducing environmental impacts associated with transportation.

Congratulations to Oakland High and the Environmental Service Academy!

Kevin Jordan - EarthTeam's January 2012 Teacher of the Month

~ Republished from EarthTeam ~

Kevin JordanKevin JordanMr. Jordan has participated in the Eco-Stewards program for several years now, with the student participating in the program when they are sophomores and then again as seniors.  Mr. Jordan goes the extra mile with his students during restoration trips, creating a creek profile and calculating creek speed with some of his students at wild and urban portions of the creek.  
Kevin Jordan grew up in the area west of Palo Alto, in the 1960's and 1970's, when it was rural.  He graduated form Woodside High School, Humboldt State University (B.S. Biology) and Cal State East Bay (M.S. Ed).  Mr. Jordan started teaching science at Oakland High School in 1990 where he organized the Eco Rec Club which, with major help from his colleague Katie Noonan, which evolved into the Environmental Science Academy of Oakland High School (ESA).  They have 10 years of graduates that have attended all of the UC and State schools as well as most of the Ivy League Universities.  
Mr. Jordan is also a trip leader with the Sierra Club which is a major partner in providing environmentally friendly and educational rewards to students in his program.  Every summer, with Sierra Club support, they take ESA students on multi-day camping and white water rafting trips (he's in the back of the raft in the photo).
We are honored to have Mr. Jordan as an EarthTeam teacher.  Regarding the reasons for which he returns the honor, he says, "EarthTeam has been providing outdoor educational opportunities for ESA students for many years.  Getting our students to local parks and developing their understanding of major concepts like biodiversity, invasive species, restoration and water quality has helped ESA students pass AP exams and more importantly become thoughtful citizens.  We are very grateful for the connections we make with EarthTeam."

Katie Noonan - EarthTeam March 2011 Teacher of the Month

~ Republished from EarthTeam ~

Katie NoonanKatie NoonanCongratulations to Katie Noonan for being awarded EarthTeam's Teacher of the Month Award for March of 2011. EarthTeam has worked closely with Katie over the past several years with our Eco-Stewards program and our "Something is In The Air" asthma awareness program.

Katie has been such a phenomenal teacher to work with for EarthTeam staff. Her indomitable spirit, selflessness, and commitment to exceptional educational experiences for her students make her an ideal award winner of Teacher of the Month.

We are particularly impressed by her consummate desire to go beyond the education standards and get her students involved in service learning projects where students can learn by engaging in real-world projectsthat expand upon curriculum learned in the classroom. This is exemplified by her weekly trips to Lake Merrit to study water quality with her students, trips to Costa Rica over the Summer, and her involvement in the Eco-Stewards program.

This year Katie has been bringing out her sophomore biology students and Junior ESA students to help restore Sausal Creek with EarthTeam and Friends of Sausal Creek staff.