Put It In The Landfill

The Muse has begun collecting cardboard off the street during our after dinner walks. She carts it like a Tiffany's bag through town. "What's it for," I asked the first time.

"Cardboard mulching," she said. "The kids love it."

The next time I offered to help.

The Muse works with third graders in the garden and helps tend their worm bin. She's one of my sources for what's going on in schools. Her daughter takes lunch in a cloth bag, with no plastic packaging and only cloth napkins. And she's not alone in doing so.

The Muse's school has a green team to set goals for sustainability in the near and far term. As part of the team she visited other schools, one with a living roof and full time employee responsible for implementing sustainability goals. Another, this one a public school, had a first class award winning garden. Each school was an inspiration.

But this bit of school news came from one of the Cute Guy's friends. Her daughter came home from a school visit to the Recycling Center and told her mother, "That's not garbage, it's landfill."

In relaying the story her mother said, "Now we have a recycling bin and a landfill bin. It makes a difference to how we think about what we're throwing away."

I'm not sure who should get the award for that one; the people at the Recycling Center, the teacher, the student or the mother for listening. But I do know I now call the garbage beneath our sink, landfill and not garbage too.

What's going on in the schools you're familiar with?

Or what bit of sage sustainability information have you learned recently from a teacher in a small body disguise?


Green Bean said...

I love love love the idea of calling trash "landfill" instead. It really drive home the final resting place. Of course, the bottom has apparently fallen out of the recycling industry and a lot of those things that we put in recycling are now ending up in landfill too. Still, this is a good place to start.

Anonymous said...

My son is starting school next year. The school we decided on is not our closest but we can still ride our bikes there. It has a 5 star sustainability rating (from CERES) and it's current goal is to become carbon neutral. Each class room has recycling and compost bins. The school has a vegie garden and large compost. Three days a week are 'nude food' days where no non recyclable food wrappings are allowed. The school has a strong healthy eating policy as well. In fact I am yet to spot a seriously overweight child there. The school community is very strong and so positive. I feel blessed to have such a wonderful school for my children.

Kale for Sale said...

green bean - That's depressing; that our recycling is ending up in the landfill anyway. Jeez. It's always something isn't it!

We kind of sing, put it in the landfill, around here now. You know, just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, .....

dani - Wow. That does seem like a dream school and an example of what we can work towards so every parent can send their child to a school that is healthy.

Anonymous said...

many paper/cardboard products are compostable, I put pizza boxes/unbleached toilet paper rolls/brown paper baGS/brown cardboard in my compost, it's great stuff!

Kale for Sale said...

wmm - I love compost piles. Thanks for the additional encouragement.

Anonymous said...

Our kid's school is doing a year-long investigation into how much garbage they produce in the lunchroom. They do recycle a lot of paper but the lunch trash just ends up in the landfill, as you say. I think the kids are really concerned about it and want to do something to cut it back. So, they are working on a solution.

Kale for Sale said...

Karen - That's great. The kids have more answers than we give them credit for sometimes. I'm sure they'll come up with a solution.