Green Schools Initiative, a locally based non-profit that focuses on making schools greener nation-wide, is partnering with Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) to bring the Green Star Schools Program to more schools this year, and King has been selected to be one of them!
This program helps reduce the environmental footprint of Berkeley schools, engages students in hands-on learning and real-world problem solving that is fun, and has the potential to save BUSD thousands of dollars. With grant support from the Altamont Education Advisory Board, they are focusing this year on reducing waste at our school.
To succeed, Green Star Schools needs US to participate! They will be working with students, parents, teachers, staff, administrators, and community members to reduce our school’s environmental impact. Please get involved and help us teach our students healthy habits by following some of the suggestions below.
We are looking for parents to help support waste reduction efforts during school events and support teachers in the program. Green Team members will meet 3–4 times during the school year to support student activities.
Join the Green Team at King by contacting KingGreenTeam@gmail.com
The King Middle School staff and students, and the team at the Green Schools Initiative are pleased to announce that new recycling and composting efforts are finally underway! The following changes have taken place:
- Students can now recycle bottles and cans (all hard plastics, aluminum, glass) in new recycling bins placed in the hallways.
- Paper towels are now being composted in the bathrooms.
- Staff can now recycle and compost their waste in the staff room.
- All teachers who have breakfast in their classrooms now have a compost bin, to be brought to the dining commons and emptied into the main compost when the students return the breakfast bin.
We hope to reduce save both natural resources and money for the district with these efforts. BUSD currently has one of the lowest waste diversion rates in the district (an average of 40% per school, with Alameda and Albany districts at a 70% average). We can and will do better!
Tips from Green Schools on How To Be More Green
- You can pack a no-waste lunch for your kids: Use reusable water bottles; avoid juice boxes/packs (not recyclable or compostable).
- Avoid plastic disposables at PTA events.
- Reuse notebooks, backpacks or school supplies from last year if possible.
- Shop at used clothing stores for back-to-school and save money.
- Buy back-to-school supplies with recycled content and avoid PVC notebooks and other supplies.
- For shopping tips & resources: http://www.greenschools.net/
- Model the 4 R’s at home: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot ( use Green Bin for food & yard waste). Follow the recycling system signs for proper sorting: Recycling, Compost, Trash.
- Turn off lights.
- Buy energy-saving light bulbs, CFL (compact fluorescent) or LED (light emitting diode).
- Turn off computers at night.
- Use a switchable power strip to turn off phone chargers/reduce “vampire” loads.
- Buy energy efficient appliances.
- Turn off faucets when you are done and take shorter showers.
- Use drip/reduce irrigation.
- Buy less-toxic products whenever possible, including household cleaning products.
- Try to walk, bike, or carpool or take the bus or transit to school. For resources on how to be a part of the King Middle School Safe Routes to School efforts, see the County program at http://www.alamedacountysr2s.
- www.reuseit.com: A great source for reusable lunch items, plus tips and a video
- www.stopwaste.org: Alameda County’s resource on how, what, and where to recycle and more
- www.ecologycenter.org: Guidance from Berkeley’s recyclers
PTA Goes Green!
To eliminate waste and the need to shop and re-shop for supplies for PTA events, we purchased over the summer goods we will be able to reuse for years to come.
Hot and cold beverages will be served in Mason jars. Volunteers pick up jars after events and take them home for washing.
We also purchased inexpensive flatware—a much better alternative to throw-away plastic or expensive compostable products.
And two new urns means we will be able to serve hot coffee and tea more economically and with less waste.
Finally, we will be working with our King Green Team (contact: KingGreenTeam@gmail.com) to facilitate recycling and composting at PTA events.