All five of Ms. Larson's 7th grade science classes participated in a very special "lab" on Friday, March 18th: the examination, and classification, of their breakfast, classroom, and lunch trash!
Students were first disgusted, then awed, at the amount of food waste they found - especially the amount of unopened/uneaten food waste. "That's my banana!" one student crowed, as her peers made a pile of unpeeled bananas. "And who would throw away a whole bag of chips?" another student asked, incredulous. Sorting bins quickly filled with juice boxes, uneaten chicken burgers, numerous plastic sporks, and food-soiled cardboard trays. Surprisingly, there were relatively few CRV recyclables in the trash, unlike other school campuses, where individually bottled water is a favorite or provided free with lunch. At Helms, a brand new campus (opened just this year), the water fountains are in good working order, and juice boxes and milk cartons are provided instead.
Ms. Larson's students discussed the feasibility of setting up a "reuse" box for unopened, packaged foods in the cafeteria (many of the students reported having a system like that in place at their elementary schools), and also the possibility of setting up a garden space with compost this spring.
Click the links below for full .pdfs of the reports.