Eco-Raiser Update

by John Hamlin 19. August 2008 15:55
Your school is invited join. So far over 30 schools have agreed to participate and send a positive message home. Get your school involved quickly as we only have room for 70. The first 30 slots were filled in one week! We are looking forward to working with you go shift the thinking of the value and impact of eco-raising. Join the fight against plastic waste. Send a positive message home all while raising funds for your school projects! A true win . . . win . . . win!

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General | Green Education | Sustainability

Regional Eco-Raiser

by John Hamlin 6. August 2008 06:05
Join today in the effort to eliminate shopping bags from our landfills and raise money for local area schools.

This regional effort combine the efforts of local schools to make a large impact on their community. The goal will be to sell over 250,000 reusable bags which will generate over $600,000 for schools.

In order to make this happen, local business and community organizations will partner with the schools. This will truly be a community based Eco-Raiser...raising funds and awareness.

The sales process will be web based allowing the community to purchase bags through each participatings schools shopping cart. This will make the sales effort simple without the typical paperwork making this a truly green fundraiser.

For more information email: info@greenbenefits or call 206-388-3173.

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General | Green Education

No Waste Lunch Day

by John Hamlin 9. July 2008 10:56

Solid waste is a major issue in our country.  According to the EPA, Americans generated 251 million pounds of solid waste in 2006.  It has been estimated that disposable lunches generate as much as 67 pounds of waste per child per school year – that is 18,760 pounds of waste for one average size elementary school.

What can we do in our school’s to reduce the amount of solid waste generated?  Let’s introduce the “No Waste Lunch Day.”  There are many versions of this program, but they all share a common goal – teach our children and families how to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Compost. 

Make this a school wide program.  It could be a one day event or better yet make it a monthly or even weekly occurrence.  Over time, you will begin to change the patterns and habits of families.  Another great resource!

A typical No Waste Lunch contains no throwaway packaging and produces no food waste. 

  • The lunch is packed in a reusable lunch box. 

  • Pack a cloth napkin instead of disposable napkin and wash at home.

  • The food is put in reusable containers rather than wrapping in disposable packaging. 

  • Use an icepack in your lunch so that food stays fresh until it is eaten.

  • A drink is in a refillable bottle. 

  • Compost partially eaten foods that will not be eaten later in your compost bin at home.

The “No Waste Lunch” is an example of going green being cheaper than the alternative.  You will not need to buy napkins, baggies, and juice boxes.  Multiply that by the number of kids you send to school and the number of days they attend.  Now you can save money, teach our children a valuable lesson and reduce the impact on the environment.

On a personal note, my daughter loves her “No Waste Lunch.”  She uses her Wrap-N-Matt reusable sandwich bag as a cool sandwich wrap system and placemat.  Her Klean Kanteen water bottle keeps her water cool without a bad after taste and the reusable icepack keeps her lunch fresher..which means less waste at home to compost.  (Vermiculture or worm composting will be a future blog topic....kids love it.)

Written by Derek VanDyke – Green Benefits

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Green Education | Sustainability

REI's Kid's Passport to Adventure

by John Hamlin 24. June 2008 21:38

School is out and the weather is improving – it’s time to begin planning summer activities for our children.  Be sure to check out REI’s Kid’s Passport to Adventure program.  Last week we took our two children (Megan and Matthew) to our local REI store and enrolled them in the passport program.  The mission of this program is to excite and connect youth to the outdoors.  Upon registration each youth is given their passport and a list of local family friendly hikes.  My children were hooked instantly

During a family outing to the Wenatchee area we made our first two hikes.  The first hike was to Hidden Lake which is located a half mile above Lake Wenatchee.  This was a great two mile round trip hike with minimal elevation gain.  At the end of the hike there was a beautiful alpine lake surrounded by ponderosa pines.  For more information contact the Wenatchee Ranger District.

Our second hike was at Deception Falls which is located on Stevens Pass.  Typically, in a rush to get home after a long weekend we skip the scenic viewpoints and trail heads.  This time our children planned an excursion found in the Best Hikes with Kids – Western Washington and the Cascades by Joan Burton and Ira Spring.  This quick detour is well worth the time.  There was a very kid friendly one mile interpretive hike through moss covered trees and spectacular views of the river.  For more information contact the Skykomish Ranger District.

After arriving home from our long weekend our kids began filling out their passport with their first two hikes.  When finished this will be a great documentary of each hike as my kids listed their favorite aspects of each excursion as well as drew a picture.  Megan and Matthew are already planning their next hike.

Though this program is intended for family use, REI and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics have created the PEAK (Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids) Program.  PEAK uses fun presentations filled with hands-on-activities and games to teach kids about taking care of the outdoors.  Ask a REI team member about scheduling a free PEAK presentation for your classroom or youth group.

Written by Derek VanDyke – Green Benefits

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Green Education