Your Green Life: "Stowe Elementary"

By KBJR News 1

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 3:16 PM CDT

In elementary school we learn how to read, write, and even memorize multiplication tables, but in this weeks "Your Green Life" Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson looks at a school where protecting the environment is also an important lesson.

School lunches can be one of the easiest ways to cut waste at elementary schools. In the past few years at Stowe Elementary, they have been practicing waste reduction programs at their school lunches.

"We now have a 100% commitment to the environmental emphasis here at Stowe with all employees and students", said Principle Terry Cottingham.

The waste reduction program first starts with a waste basket, next they have a container which the students pour their excess milk and juice into.
Other bins are used to seperate soiled cloth napkins from the recyclable paper waste, like milk cartons. And solid food waste is collected in another container.

"Sometimes it's difficult to sort the food out because some people throw in like the trash can when they are supposed to sort it into the bins", said student Taryn Pederson.

And where does the recycled food go?

"Give it to the worm bins or the pigs", said Dylan Hamilton.

The waste reduction program decreased their daily waste from several 30 gallon trash bins to now under 30 gallons of waste a day for the entire school's breakfasts and lunches. While this program has proven to be a success at Stowe Elementary, what are other challenges that they face?

"I think a current challenge that we have is persuading other Duluth schools involved in replicating a number of things that we do, cause it's a very simple process", said Cottingham.

After watching the students at Stowe tackle the task of recycling, not only do they help protect the environment, but they also spread the knowledge at home to help reduce waste. In Duluth, for Your Green Life, I'm Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson, the Northlands Newscenter

To learn how to do your own recycling and composting at home visit: Earth911.com