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EAC News Briefs: "Going Green Matters" Fair Takes Place on March 12

February 8, 2017

District 30's Environmental Awareness Committee continues to follow its mission of “promoting responsibility to improve and preserve the environment.”

District 30's Environmental Awareness Committee continues to follow its mission of “promoting responsibility to improve and preserve the environment.”

A Willowbrook School kindergartner created this drawing and message, "Help the Earth Please."

For District 30's Environmental Awareness Committee (EAC) weekly updates on upcoming environmental and Go Green Northbrook-sponsored events go to https://gogreennorthbrook.org/

District 30's Environmental Awareness Committee's next meeting takes place at 8:45 a.m., February 23 at the Harry P. Rossi Administration Offices. For more information, contact Dr. Melissa Hirsch at 847-498-4190.

Visit the One Earth Film Fest from March 3 – 12

The annual One Earth Film Fest will take place from Friday March 3 – Sunday, March 12 at multiple venues throughout Chicagoland. Last year the Midwest’s premiere environmental film festival showcased over 30 acclaimed films on multiple eco-topics throughout the Chicagoland area. Free admission is followed by interactive discussions. Films by date details can be found at http://www.oneearthfilmfest.org/our-story/

Snack Bag Recycling Success Story!

District 30's Environmental Awareness Committee member, Sarah Sanford reports that during the second week of February she shipped 250 pounds of snack bags recycled from the Maple School lunchroom, to the company Terracycle for recycling!

"Thank you Sarah. Everyone can make a difference, one good deed at a time!"

“Going Green Matters” Fair Takes Place on March 12

The Go Green Wilmette’s Environmental Fair dubbed “Going Green Matters,” will take place from Noon to 4:00 p.m., Sunday, March 12 at Michigan Shores Club, 911 Michigan Avenue, Wilmette. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore more than 100 exhibits, like a climate change art exhibit, or slide show of local residents and exhibitors taking action. Everyone can take home a list of things that can be accomplished right away to make a difference.

"Going Green Matters" draws more than 1,000 residents, neighbors, elected officials, exhibitors and volunteers.  The latest hybrid and electric cars, demonstrations, home energy exhibits, and an interactive Eco-Zone make this a wonderful event for the entire family. People interested in living more sustainably will have a chance to learn more about topics such as saving energy at home, transportation choices, green landscaping, growing your own food, organic food and farming, connecting to nature, green home design and products, and more.

Find out how schools, park districts, libraries, congregations and village governments are all working together to make local communities and the world a more sustainable place to live. Visit event website at www.goinggreenmatters.org  Sponsorship opportunities are available at http://www.goinggreenmatters.org/sponsors/sponsorship-levels/

Area School Environmental Group Activity Schedule

Skokie School Shares Gardening Webinar

This webinar series was shared by Molly Dolkart of Skokie School:

"The University of Illinois Extension has an amazing series of webinars on a variety of gardening topics on Thursdays from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m., through March.  They can also be viewed on their YouTube channel at https://web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=15522 

2017 Small Farms Winter Webinar Series - University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community. This series will provide practical knowledge on emerging topics which advance local food production in Illinois. These online presentations will give small farm producers a look at how leading practices in production, management, and marketing enable operations to improve profitability and sustainability. Webinars will be held from noon -1:00 pm on Thursdays and are free. Winter Webinar Registration link:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBvG-jopax3tPSCBXb6AgIQ

"The presentations will be recorded, and a link to the archived presentation on our YouTube channel are sent to you after the webinar. They also offer many resources and programs you may be interested in University of IL Extension Programs," said Ms. Doklart.

The link for the University of Illinois Extension programs is http://web.extension.illinois.edu/state/programs.php

Botanic Garden Offers Gardening Workshops for Educators

The Chicago Botanic Gardens offers teacher workshops are offered year-round on Saturdays 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. On Saturday, February 25, the topic is School Gardening: Seeds for Spring Growing and Saturday.

On March 18 the topic is Science and Literature: Environmental Awareness in time for Earth month! To find more information and to register for Chicago Botanic Teacher Programs, go to https://www.chicagobotanic.org/education/teacher_programs

Spring ASEG Meeting to Feature School Sustainability on March 15

The spring Area School Environmental Group (ASEG) meeting takes place on Wednesday, March 15, from 11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m. at Highcrest School in Wilmette. The mission of the Area School Environmental Group is to raise environmental awareness and to inspire parents, administrators, teachers, students, and community members to take action to help the environment in local elementary and high schools.

"Come watch the Highcrest Middle School Students show off their sustainability skills. Wilmette District 39 invites you to come observe their lunchroom recycle, composting and garbage practices  in action. Then join Lisa Winter, Food Service Coordinator and Sustainability Liaison, afterwards for questions and discussion on future sustainable goals,” said ASEG's Katie Nahrwold.

RSVP for the meeting at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/aseg-spring-meeting-tickets-31733813691

 


 
Environmental educator David Wilms discusses ways in which to save energy with Willowbrook fourth graders in Jennifer Lunds’ classroom.

Environmental Educator Enlightens Fourth Graders on Renewable Resources and Saving Energy

Recently, Wescott and Willowbrook fourth graders were enlightened on the subject of fossil fuels, renewable resources and energy saving techniques with educator David Wilms. He could be called the "modern day Thomas Edison,” the way he exhibits his passion for energy and energy sources (like LED lights); and how he enthusiastically talks about many ways that people can save this precious resource. Mr. Wilms is a former advanced placement (AP) enviromental science teacher at Stevenson High School, who is now retired from that position. He currently works with students at many schools, spreading the word about renewable resources and saving energy.

Since December, he has shared with the fourth graders, information on fossil fuels, renewable resources, and the impact transportation has on the environment.  Students compared the impact of SUV's, smaller cars and electric cars. Mr. Wilm's held presentations on January 24 and 25, which focused on recycling and energy.

Fourth graders kept a log on the impact they can have on the environment and energy each time they recycle. The log showed that the most highly recycled items included in chronological order:  aluminum cans, aluminum, plastics, steel, school paper, paper/paper cardboard, and glass.

He told the kids, “You can be part of the solution! We can save so much energy by reducing, reusing and recycling.”

Mr. Wilms emphasized that the terms energy efficiency and energy conservation have distinct meanings, but both save energy.  Energy efficiency is using technology that requires less energy to perform the same function. Energy conservation is any behavior that results in the use of less energy.  The energy efficiency of LED light bulbs was compared with incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescent bulbs. A 2016 Census estimate of 116,000,000 households in the U.S. compared the three types of bulbs, their usage, and the huge annual savings if all households changed to LED bulbs.

These presentations were coordinated by math and science coordinators, Kery Obradovich and Kristin Cioffi, with the help of fourth grade teachers Anna Davis, Jane Eilhauer, Sammi Lipkin, Michele Maisel, Jessica Schutz, Jennifer Lund and Betsie Onsrud. 

 

"No Idling" is a 24/7 Rule Off the Road

Here are some facts about idling to remember:

  • Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel than restarting the engine.
  • Frequent restarting has little impact on the car battery or starter.
  • Idling can increase fuel consumption by four to five percent.
  • Idling for two minutes is equivalent to driving one mile.
  • The EPA recommends that individuals turn off their cars if planning to idle for more than 30 seconds. Some sources say just 10 seconds.

Please consider turning the car off and contributing to this community effort to reduce global warming. Excellent video link, "It's Time to Re-think Idling" at http://iturnitoff.com/index.php#/the-issue

Important Links about Idling wescott/documents/IdleFreeSchoolsFlyer.pdf  - Compares idling with start/stop http://www.afdc.energy.gov/uploads/publication/which_is_greener.pdf

Anti Idling for NBK Village fleets (auto off at 5 minutes)
http://www.villageprofile.com/illinois/northbrook/02/topic.html

Scroll to Idle Reduction
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/publications.html

Be Idle Free, Just Turn the Key!

Wescott School Well-Represented at Park Unveiling on November 15

Wescott Principal Chris Brown, first grade teacher Sharon Latek and a group of her former students gathered at the Wescott Park unveiling on November 15, to witness its formal opening with the upgraded underground Stormwater Storage Facility. The park is complete with 70 new trees, 50 shrubs, maintained bike paths and ball fields.

The Village of Northbrook, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) and the Northbrook Park District representatives were present to attend the official ribbon cutting ceremony and unveiling of the park at Farnsworth Lane and Western Avenue. Village President Sandy Frum addressed the audience, stating that the Stormwater Storage Facility was designed to alleviate flooding for the community.

"It will improve park grounds while shielding homes in the area from future stormwater flooding issues.  The new Wescott Park Stormwater Facility will provide 7.5 million gallons of much needed storage capacity, equivalent to more than 11 Olympic-sized swimming pools!” she added.

Principal Brown thanked all who were involved in this project, commenting that he appreciated the great collaboration that transpired throughout the construction period. He said that he especially appreciated the construction crews’ concern for the safety of students and parents, as they maneuvered around the area at drop-off and pick-up times at the school.

He complimented first grade teacher Sharon Latek and students, who wrote letters to Village of Northbrook President, Sandy Frum last year, when the construction project began, because they were concerned about the trees being felled and where the animals and birds would live.

“Thank you Ms. Frum for coming to the school, not once, but twice, to address our students’ concerns and to assure them that there would be more trees and bushes planted! Now we can feel confident that they will be here for generations to come. As we upgrade to new science standards and programming, I look forward to having students investigate the new species of trees that were planted, especially the ones that you said were disease and insect resistant,” Brown concluded.
 

EAC and Collective Resources Join Forces on America Recycles Day - November 15

On Tuesday, November 15, District 30 acknowledged and honored America Recycles Day by participating in a special food recycling collaboration with the district’s Environmental Awareness Committee (EAC) and Collective Resources. America Recycles Day is a national initiative of Keep America Beautiful.

EAC, Go Green Northbrook member and Maple PTO Co-President, Tara Wesselink worked with Evanston-based Collective Resources to set up recycling bins at the schools on America Recycles Day, which was also Trash Less Tuesday.

Lunchroom representatives who assisted the children during the lunch hour included Tara Wesselink, Tracey Becker and Jennifer Marsh. All the leftover food from the cafeterias was placed into specially marked bins. She then transported the food waste to her home, where Collective Resources picked it up, and it will eventually become compost.

View the educational video about composting that was created by EAC's Tara Wesselink and Tracey Becker and shown to the elementary students at
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9Ye8xkOjXMrRmhpem5iblNjR28

In the video, they highlighted how the recyclables would divided during the lunch periods on America Recycles Day.  Everyone was asked to divide the recyclables into separate bins as follows:  One bin will held leftover milk; another held vegetables, meat, cheese, yogurt, and paper napkins; there is the one that already holds chip bags each day (Terracycle); and another bin was for milk cartons, plastic cups, straws, yogurt tubes and utensils.  Any other refuse went into the regular garbage bins.

From EAC member/volunteers Tara, Tracey and Jen: "

“Thank you to Go Green Northbrook for the recycling bins and to everyone who helped make recycling our food on America Recycles Day, a complete success, especially our students. By working together, District 30 was able help turn 69 pounds of discarded food into a resource on Tuesday, November 15, instead of waste. ‘Wow’, talk about a super Trashless Tuesday!”

The breakdown of recyclables collected at the schools is as follows:
Wescott: 28 pounds of food composted
Willowbrook: 20 pounds of food composted
Maple: 21 pounds of food composted

Food Waste Facts

1. Food Waste is a "current" problem being focused on by the Environmental Protection Agency and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). These two agencies are targeting to reduce food waste nationwide by 50 percent by the year 2030.

2. Food is the largest stream of materials in the landfills, accounting for 21 percent of the total landfill waste stream (with the next largest being plastic at 18 percent). This large volume of disposed food is responsible for roughly 18 percent of total U.S. methane emissions from landfills (according to the Environmental Protection Agency).

To find out more about recycling and America Recycles Day, go to https://americarecyclesday.org/

Discover how Collective Resources “Reduces landfill through commercial composting since 2010” at http://www.collectiveresource.us/

For information on recent Food Waste Fair, go to https://gogreennorthbrook.org/

Read an informative article by Pioneer Press reporter Irv Leavitt, about the Food Waste Fair held on November 12; and how District 30's Environmental Awareness Committee was involved in reducing food waste in all school lunchrooms on America Recycles Day on November 15. Go to http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/northbrook/news/ct-nbs-food-waste-tl-1010-20161107-story.html

Now There is a Place to Recycle Old Trophies! 

Old trophies gathering dust on bedroom shelves? There is now a place to recycle these items. To find out more, just go to http://www.awardsmall.com/trophy-recycling_ep_46.html

"We hear almost every day of folks that have old trophies collecting dust and they don't want to throw them away to the landfill; they'd rather make a useful contribution to others.  For over 30 years we have accepted these treasured awards and recycled them for parts or re-engraved and donated them to non-profits."~Donna Gray, president of Total Awards & Promotions 



Pack It, Snack It, ReUse It…Thank You For Doing Your Part!

To kick-off the 2016-2017 school year, the District 30’s Environmental Awareness Committee arranged for every child in the District to receive a blue reusable sandwich-size lunch bag (dubbed ReUsies) in his/her student information packet.  ReUsies are reusable, eco-friendly, fun, economic, and a wonderful alternative to disposable snack bags and sandwich bags.

The ReUsie website lists the many advantages to using these little bags!

*Eco-friendly: Each ReUsie has the potential to keep hundreds of your family’s plastic bags out of our landfills. With little effort, you can do your part to help reduce the estimated 20 million single-use plastic sandwich bags that go into U.S. landfills daily.

*Family friendly: ReUsies are 100% cotton, quick-drying, lined with leak-resistant nylon and are secured with hook and loop closures. ReUsies are free of BPA and phthalates. They are also CPSIA compliant and meet the FDA standards for food safety, which makes them safe for everyday food use.

*Easy to care for: ReUsies can be machine washed and dried, washed in the dishwasher, or for longest life, simply wiped clean with a soapy sponge and air dried.

*Economic: According to the Sierra Club, families spend roughly $85 annually on disposable plastic baggies. Not only can you keep plastic baggies from our landfills, but you can save money in the long run.

*Fun: With dozens of bright colors and styles to choose from, you can find choices for anyone in the house. Your family can lunch in style with ReUsies.

*Alternate uses: ReUsies are versatile and are used for more than just food and snacks. Take along treats for your favorite pet. Or use them to organize your purse, lugage or baby bag by putting wallets, keys, pacifiers, toiletries, cosmetics, crayons, legos, small electronic devices, sunglasses, or other items that get lost or damaged.

For more information about ReUsies and recycling initiatives go to Reusies.com

District 30's Environmental Awareness Committee Continues to Raise Environmental Awareness in Surrounding Communities

The mission of the Area School Environmental Group is to continue to raise environmental awareness and to inspire parents, administrators, teachers, students, and community members to take action to help the environment in our local elementary and high schools. 

District 30’s Environmental Awareness Committee (EAC) has been an integral part of the school community for over 21 years.  With the support of Dr. Melissa E. Hirsch, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, the group continues to follow its mission of “promoting responsibility to improve and preserve the environment.” In the past year at District 30 schools, the EAC has upheld Trashless Lunch Tuesdays, Walk and Bike to School Days, recycling and reducing waste, no idling initiatives, monarch butterfly conservation efforts, prairie garden education, and flower and tree plantings.

Last April, Earth Day assemblies brought experts to the schools to discuss and encourage students to consider positive changes as they become more aware of the interrelationship between humans, animals and the environment.  In 2017, Earth Day assemblies will further educate students on “Animals and the Environment.”  For the second year, there was a “Green Challenge”, which involved students taking one green challenge a day during Earth Week, for example, to use less water. On Arbor Day, the Glenview Lions generously presented tree saplings to all fourth grade students, as part of a national forester’s program designed to educate fourth graders about the importance of trees in maintaining a healthy and viable environment.

Currently, the prairie and vegetable gardens at Wescott and Willowbrook Schools are being enhanced to provide an even more effective educational learning space for the children. In addition, a butterfly garden is also being developed to help save the endangered Monarch butterfly and other pollinating insects, that are crucial to the world’s food supply!

To kick-off the 2016-2017 school year, the EAC arranged for every child in the District to receive a reusable sandwich-size lunch bag (dubbed ReUsies) in his/her student information packet.  Community members can continue to stay current regarding the Environmental Awareness Committee’s activities through the school year at www.district30.org.

 

District's Environmental Committee Hosts Green Meeting

On August 25, District 30's Environmental Awareness Committee, led by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Melissa Hirsch, hosted the the Area School Environmental Group (ASEG) and U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Illinois Green Schools Committee at Maple School.  There was a presentation on how to create a Green Ribbon Award school, and apply for a national award; as well as strategies and ideas for planning a school’s Green Apple Day of Service.

This year, the Green Apple Day of Service occurred on September 24. For more information go to http://greenapple.org/

Community members can continue to stay current regarding the Environmental Awareness Committee’s activities through the school year at www.district30.org
 

Recycle, Reduce and Reuse Everyday!

#1 Goal:  “Focus on inspiring or continuing good habits of recycling, and taking these habits one step further in 2016.” - District 30’s Environmental Awareness Committee

Recycling Adds Up to Energy Savings

Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a television for two hours, power a computer for three hours and light a 100 watt lightbulb for 20 hours.  For recycling ideas, go to www.recyclingfactsguide.com/recycling-resolutions

EAC Happenings During 2015-2016 School Year

Environmental Awareness Committee member, Sarah Sanford collects the last of the snack bags at Maple School on June 9, 2016. They were recycled through Terracycle this past summer.

Thank you to the whole community for support of this important effort! Hundreds of pounds of snack bags collected at District 30 schools will now be recycled instead of dumped in a landfill!

Read more about TerraCycle at https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/

Northbrook and Glenview Residents Have Rain Barrel Option

The Village of Glenview has a partnership with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s free rain barrel program. Residents are eligible to qualify for up to four rain barrels per property.  The barrels come with necessary accessories.  Delivery can take five weeks. For more information, call (847) 904-4371.

Residents can read about Northbrook’s new Rain Barrel program, in the June issue of the Village of Northbrook newsletter or click this link: http://www.northbrook.il.us/index.aspx?page=415

District Hosts Kids on Wheels Bike Safety Program

Environmental Awareness Committee chair, Dr. Melissa Hirsch arranged for Jason Jenkins to present the “Kids on Wheels” bike safety program to District 30 from May 9-13.  covered safety education on biking, and used 30 bikes to demonstrate different safety techniques to third and fourth grade students.

In 2015, the “Kids on Wheels” program served 17 schools, educating 1,690 students.

“Research says that children who routinely bike and walk are more attentive, test better, have better overall health outcomes and are less likely to watch TV. With so many good reasons for kids to ride bikes, we're thrilled that this program is going to make more kids safer on bikes, and ultimately get more kids biking throughout the region,” said Mr. Jenkins.

 

Wheels Kept on Turning on Bike to School Day

Despite the fact it was 40-something degrees outside, and the clouds were threatening to "rain on the proposed school bike parade", students at Maple, Wescott and Willowbrook made a huge effort to honor Bike to School Day on May 4.

The kids didn't just ride bikes: They walked, rode scooters, skated, strolled in buggies, and there was even a bicycle built for two (sans "Daisy") at Wescott!

This activity was organized by District 30's Environmental Awareness Committee, led by Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Melissa Hirsch.

National Bike to School Day is celebrated across the country and world. It provides the opportunity for schools to join together to celebrate and build off of the energy of National Bike Month.

This event was organized as the first step to change community culture; and to create options for getting around that are more inviting and healthy for everyone and the environment.

District 30's Publicity Coordinator thanks Michelle King-Mulvihill and Grace Zuercher for submitting photos from Maple and Willowbrook Schools!

View Photos taken at the schools on Bike to School Day on District 30's Facebook Page!

Bike to School Day Facts

The first-ever National Bike to School Day took place on May 9, 2012, in coordination with the League of American Bicyclists' National Bike Month. Almost 1,000 local events in 49 states and the District of Columbia joined together to encourage children to safely bicycle or walk to school.

The event builds on the popularity of Walk to School Day, which is celebrated across the country – and the world – each October. Many communities and schools have been holding spring walk and bicycle to school events for years. National Bike to School Day provides an opportunity for schools across the country to join together to celebrate and to build off of the energy of National Bike Month.

The Bike to School Day date for 2017 has been set for May 10, 2017. For more information about Bike to School Day go to http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/ready/about-the-events/bike-to-school-day

District 30 Kids Have “Monarch Mania” - The Cure is Planting Milkweed for Endangered Monarch Butterfly

“Monarch Mania” is catching, and that is a very good thing! Wescott and Willowbrook School first grade students caught the “bug” when they participated in a community project titled, “Help Make Northbrook a Monarch Way Station,” from May 9-12, with Math and Science Coordinator Kery Obradovich. In addition, fourth graders spent time planting milkweed in school gardens on May 11-12.


Ms. Obradovich stated, “Representatives from the Northbrook Garden Club who are dedicated to Monarch butterfly conservation are excited to to be offering this program to Northbrook students in the community. In 2015, Northbrook Village President, Sandy Frum signed a proclamation to ‘Help Make Northbrook a Monarch Way Station.’

Northbrook Garden Club representatives visited classrooms at Wescott and Willowbrook, where the first graders heard about the life cycle and current challenges of the endangered Monarch butterfly. Then they planted milkweed seeds in a cup; and were able to take a milkweed plant home to enhance their family gardens.

“Students and their families will now be closer to completing their own Monarch-friendly milkweed way stations,” said Northbrook Garden Club’s Dale Duda.



Ms. Obradovich stressed that in first grade science, the children always take part in a Monarch and Painted butterfly study during April/May. They learn about life cycles while observing caterpillars grow, form a chrysalis, and then finally transform into a butterfly.  They released them on May 11 and 12.

Residents should start watching for the flutter of more butterflies in gardens during the summer months!

View More Photos of Monarch Butterfly Presentations and Milkweed Plantings on District 30's Facebook Page!

Fourth Graders Get into Garden Groove

Not to be outdone by their first grade counterparts, Wescott and Willowbrook fourth graders also spent some time in the school gardens May 11 and 12 planting milkweed and flowers to enhance the Monarch butterfly's habitat and to beautify the land surrounding their building.
 

Wescott fourth graders pose with their Norway Spruce saplings, courtesy of the Glenview Lions Club, in honor of Arbor Day.

Willowbrook fourth graders hold up their Norway Spruce tree saplings.

Glenview Lions Spruce Up Classrooms with Tree Distributions on Arbor Day

Every District 30 fourth grader received a Norway Spruce sapling on April 29, Arbor Day, courtesy of the Glenview Lions Club. This activity was coordinated by District 30's Environmental Awareness Committee.

Glenview Lions Club member Terry Dooley and Katie Bumbaris visited Wescott and Willowbrook Schools, and passed out the trees. Mr. Dooley explained to the children how to plant and care for the Norway Spruce, which grows about two feet per year, and can live 100 years or more!

He advised everyone to plant the trees at least 20 feet from their homes, as they mature quickly. The saplings can be safely stored in the refrigerator for a few weeks before planting.

There was a discussion about how trees add beauty to the environment; and about photosynthesis; how trees rid the air of carbon dioxide and provide oxygen, thus filtering the air.

For the past few years, Mr. Dooley has arranged for fourth graders at Wescott and Willowbrook Schools to receive tree saplings, courtesy of the National Fourth Grade Foresters' tree distribution initiative.

To date, Mr. Dooley says that the National Foresters have distributed over 677,000 saplings to students in 7,100 schools nationwide since 2006.

Arbor Day, which is Latin for "Tree Day," is an environmental holiday where citizens and groups are encouraged to plant trees and care for the already existing trees.

Mr. Dooley told the children about how Arbor Day was founded by J. Sterling Morton on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska City, Nebraska, where over an estimated one million trees were planted on that single day. Mr. Morton is the same man who developed the Morton Arboretum in Lisle.

"Animals and the Environment" Visited Schools During Earth Week

Whether a creature is cute, soft and cuddly or homely, scaly and squiggly, all animals must be considered precious to the earth and its inhabitants. That was one of many important messages imparted by Dick Buchholz of Mobile Ed Productions, when he presented "Animals and the Environment" at the schools this week. The kids were highly-engaged as he spoke, watching intently as he brought out, one at-a-time, a hedgehog, bearded dragon, chinchilla, box turtle and two species of snakes.

Through an engaging presentation, he discussed how humans can affect the lives of thousands of species all over the world. He told why dumping garbage and/or pesticides in the ocean thousands of miles away can trigger a chain of events that may eventually impact the food and products used by humans and animals. He also talked about the growing environmental threat of vanishing marine life in the Mexican seas. Mr. Buchholz encouraged students to consider positive changes as they become more aware of the interrelationship between humans, animals, and the environment.
 
After his presentation, Mr. Buchholz chose two students to hold a corn snake. Every student then had the opportunity to touch the snake, or not. Hand sanitizer was used by everyone after the real life encounter. For more information about this program, go to http://www.mobileedproductions.com/animals-natural-science-…
 
This presentation was brought to the children by District 30's Environmental Awareness Committee.

SWANCC Provides Year-Round Eco-Educational Programming

Glenview’s Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) provides year-round programs, resources, presentations and workshops to educate about solid waste technologies and the benefits of waste reduction practices such as reduce, reuse, recycle and buy recycled. 

 

District 30's Snack Bag Recyling Efforts Pay Off!

From District 30's Environmental Awareness Committee member, Sarah Sanford, who has led the snack bag recycling activity at our schools for over a year, "Because of District 30's snack bag recycling efforts through the company Terracycle, we’ve helped an independent Indiana preschool raise over $60.00 since last spring. In the past school year, we’ve even kept over a few hundred pounds of snack bags out of the landfills!"

Wescott PTO Recycles Metal Posts, Saves $200!

It appears that there is more than one way to put "pedal to the metal!"

Wescott School's PTO Co-President Zivit Blonder helped save the organization $200.00, with her idea of recycling metal stands from various organizations, to be used for its year-round birthday sign fundraiser.Ms. Blonder first project was to recycle the metal posts out of all of the election placards around town to replace the stands for Wescott PTO's birthday signs.

Go Green Northbrook's Doug Gerlemand then connected Environmental Awareness Committee and Go Green President, Tracey Becker with Village of Northbrook's Public Works Department, where she collected 50 metal stands. Ms. Blonder received many more metal stands from Willowbrook's PTO; and Ms. Becker received several from Covenant Village Retirement of Northbrook.

"Environmental Awareness Committee member, Tara Wesselink will be bringing in some that she has collected, as well," said Ms. Becker.




River Trails Nature Center Offers Fun and Educational Programs

Family fun and educational programs are offered year round at River Trails Nature Center, through the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Many of these programs are free or have a nominal fee. One can visit the sugar maple woods along the Des Plaines River, and the exhibit building, complete with flora, fauna and native animals.

For a full calendar of upcoming events at River Trails Nature Center, go to http://fpdcc.com/event/small-serendipity-20/ or call  847-824-8360.

Maple School Reports Reduced Waste in Lunchrooms

District 30’s Environmental Awareness Committee has been encouraging waste reduction in the lunchrooms via recycling, and most recently the recycling of snack bags through the company Terracycle. 

According to Environmental Awareness Committee member, Sarah Sanford, who organized the Terracycle snack bag recycling effort at all District 30 schools, “It appears to have had a positive impact on the children and the lunchroom environment.”

The latest report from Maple School was from physical education/wellness teacher Kitt Kopach.  He has been regularly encouraging students to save and deposit their snack bags in the Terracycle bin. He also initiated a Chip Bag Calendar for each grade level.  This “competition” has  resulted in additional chip bags being recycled each day.

“I thought it would be a fun way for each grade to challenge one another to collect more chip bags. I also make sure to stop in during lunch periods and announce the importance of recycling,” said Mr. Kopach. 

He said in one week the eighth graders have reduced their garbage amount to less than a 1/4 of a large trash bin per day.  He hopes the kids continue these recycling efforts at home as well.

Mr. Kopach added, “It was really fun to help collect the snack bags! I am a big supporter of passing down a better environment to our youth!”

Student Council Reminds Everyone to Recycle

 

Maple School's Student Council has created posters to remind students how to properly recycle food containers, cups and silverware. Thank you all from the District 30 Environmental Awareness Committee.


 

Help District 30 Keep Snack Bags Out of Landfills!

According to Sodexo Food Services, hundreds of snack bags are sold in the lunchrooms per day at District 30 schools. To help reduce waste in landfills, the district embarked on the Snack Bag Brigade recycling program with TerraCycle, beginning on December 8. This is a free recycling program for snack bags. Families with snack bags from any brand can send them in with their students for recycling in the lunchroom.

Accepted waste:
1. Family-size snack bags
2. individual snack bags
3. multi-pack snack bagsTerraCycle is a highly-awarded, international upcycling and recycling company that collects difficult-to-recycle packaging and products and repurposes the material into affordable, innovative products.TerraCycle is widely considered the world’s leader in the collection and reuse of non-recyclable, post-consumer waste.Environmental Awareness Committee member, Tara Wesselink wore a "snack bag hat" while showing the students where to recycle their snack bags at Wescott School.

TerraCycle works with more than 100 major brands in the U.S. and 22 countries overseas to collect used packaging and products that would otherwise be destined for landfills. It repurposes that waste into new, innovative materials and products that are available online and through major retailers.

Environmental Awareness Committee member, Sarah Sanford helps Lucio Castrejon collect snack bags for recycling in Wescott's lunchroom.Wescott students participated in recycling snack bags for the first time last year.

Go Green's Rob Sulski shows Wescott third graders the proper way to remove a plant from its container.

Wescott Garden’s Makeover Includes Native Prairie Plants

On November 17, Northbrook’s modern-day “Johnny Appleseed”, Rob Sulski, arrived at Wescott School’s prairie garden in his pick-up truck filled with native prairie plants, which were raised in his home garden. Despite grey skies which threatened rain, Go Green Northbrook’s Sulski patiently showed Wescott School third and fourth graders the best way to remove a plant from a container by turning it upside down and gently tapping the bottom; then how to set it gently into the ground, and cover it up with the surrounding soil. The planting project also coincides with the students’ current science curriculum that focuses on plants and living environments.

In September 2015, Go Green Northbrook’s Tracey Becker, who is also a District 30 Environmental Awareness Committee member, announced that the $5,000 United Eco-Skies grant that the organization had applied for was approved, which meant that Go Green could use the funds to promote sustainability and environmental education at Wescott School and Glenbrook North High School gardens. Each year, United’s Eco-Skies community grant program awards $50,000 across 10 non-profit organizations.

This garden restoration project is being coordinated by Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Melissa Hirsch and the District 30 Environmental Awareness Committee; Math and Science Coordinator, Kery Obradovich; Rob Sulski and Tracey Becker.  Sulski is also President of Foot Stone Inc., a full-service, sustainable land and water resources restoration and management company.



Environmental Awareness Committee member Sarah Sanford helps clear brush from the Wescott prairie garden.

Trash Less Tuesdays Are Now Held Weekly!

Each student creates about 67 pounds of lunch waste every year!  To promote thoughtfulness and responsibility about how an individual’s choices create trash and affect people and the earth, Tuesday, October 6, 2015 was the first Trash Less Tuesday at Maple, Wescott and Willowbrook Schools. Trash Less Tuesdays are now being held each week throughout the school year.Parents/caregivers should consider supporting their student’s efforts by using the ReUsie that was distributed at packet pickup or reusable containers, instead of a plastic bag for fruit, veggies or chips.

Remember District 30’s Environmental Awareness Committee’s motto: “Try and be the change that you wish to see in the world. Everyone can make a difference.”Maple, Wescott and Willowbrook Schools Support Trash Less Lunches!


Maple students hold up the ReUsies (reusable) sandwich bags that they received on August 12, in their information packets.

This was an Environmental Awareness Committee initiative, led by Dr. Melissa Hirsch.

Environmental Awareness Committee "Celebrates Earth Day Every Day"

District 30's Environmental Awareness Committee has been an integral part of the school community for over 20 years. Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Melissa E. Hirsch, has been working the past year with a dedicated group of teachers, PTO members, the district publicist, and school principals, by developing and initiating environmental activities District-wide.

The Environmental Awareness Committee’s mission statement:  “District 30’s Environmental Awareness Committee promotes responsibility to improve and preserve the environment.”

Initiatives that have taken place to help raise environmental consciousness have included Trash Less Lunch Tuesdays, Walk and Bike to School Day, and recycling items from snack bags and electronic equipment, to clothing and shoes. Several classes even participated in helping to save the endangered Monarch butterfly, by growing milkweed, which is vital to the insect’s survival.

There are annual Earth Day assemblies that educate and promote sustainability at the elementary schools.  A “Green Challenge” and Earth Bingo card, designed by parent Tracey Becker, involved students at all schools taking one green challenge a day during Earth Day week for the past three years. For the third year-in-a-row, the Glenview Lions presented all fourth grade students with tree saplings; while enlightening the students with facts about raising a healthy tree.