What is Project Green Life?
Green Life is Covedale School’s plan to help our school and community become more environmentally friendly while improving technology literacy and developing hands-on skills in all content areas at all grade levels.
Why are we doing this?
Although our new school building is very green already, Covedale staff and students believe that we can do more. We are committed to educating our students, staff, and community about our environmental impact, and developing more life-long positive behaviors.
How are we doing this?
Students participate in all aspects of the project, including:
- Composting (commercial): Students separate their compostable cafeteria waste from the waste that must go to the landfill. A commercial hauler removes our compostable items. At this time, students are able to compost ALL food items (including meat and cheese). In the 2012-2013 school year, almost 48% of our lunchroom waste was able to be composted. Our composting is generously paid for through the “Sustainability in Action” program with Keep Cincinnati Beautiful. Designated Student Compost Helpers assist at the waste station during some lunch periods and at breakfast to make sure that students are properly disposing of their lunch waste.
- Composting (non-commercial): In 2011, we started composting the fruit and vegetable waste from our cafeteria and we have developed a sizable compost pile that we use for our school gardens. When we began commercial composting, we still wanted to maintain our own compost pile. We have done this by collecting the fruit and vegetable waste from the teachers’ lunchroom. A designated Student Compost Helper collects the compostable items from the teachers’ lunchroom each day and takes it out to the school’s compost pile.
- Recycling: Paper, plastic, glass, and metal—Every classroom and teacher workroom has a recycling bin and student volunteers empty these bins every morning into a single-stream recycling dumpster. Juice packs—Students are saving these from lunch each day and our school receives cash for these! Student volunteers empty, flatten, count and pack these juice packs to be mailed away. Other recycling brigades—Through the organization TerraCycle, we are able to recycle the following items for cash: dead Sharpie and PaperMate writing utensils, dead dry erase markers, empty Elmer’s glue sticks and bottles, empty Scotch tape dispensers, dairy containers (including yogurt cups, margarine/butter tubs, sour cream tubs, etc.), old cell phones, cameras, and ink cartridges! Student volunteers collect these items each week from locations around the school, and then pack them for sending to TerraCycle.
- Gardening: We have a beautiful set of raised beds behind the school that we built with the help of a grant from Whole Foods and the assistance of volunteers from Kohl’s in spring, 2012. We have enriched our soil with compost from our school’s pile, and students have planted a variety of vegetables. Produce harvested from the gardens has gone to the local community, either directly to Covedale students and their parents or to the Anderson Ferry Food Pantry.
- After-School Green Team: Thanks to a very enthusiastic intern from Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, we have a weekly after-school club that meets to learn about environmental issues and tackle specific school or community problems as they arise. These students (in grades 3-6) serve as environmental leaders for our building.