We Future Cycle in National Kids Science Magazine

news-f3a8e624689425102e9e5de00789be1aWe Future Cycle is so proud to be featured in the National Kids Science Magazine called DoGoNews. How cool is that!

And we are particularly proud to have heard from a bunch of people that their children chose that article as their current events project.

http://www.dogonews.com/2016/1/15/innovative-ideas-to-curb-food-waste-range-from-sharing-to-dumpster-dining

 

College Intern Opportunities at We Future Cycle

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Dana surrounded by Kindergarten student helpers, on day 1 already. These kids were pumped up to do the right thing

We Future Cycle was thrilled to have had our first College Intern. Dana Goldstein, a Sophomore from Oberlin called out of the blue beginning of January to ask if she can do an internship with us. She had learned about the We Future Cycle program from the recent media flurry and was fascinated as this program touches exactly on what she is focusing in school.

Human Psychology in connection to environmental sciences, in other words, how to get humans to get off their lazy butts to create change.

Dana jumped right in, with a record breaking month for We Future Cycle rolling out 5 schools, she got to experience the whole spectrum of this program. From seeing the workshops we do with teachers, to monitors and custodial staff, learning how to work with children of different age groups, setting up stations, supervising the sorting, and teaching the students and adults in the room how to source separate, to gently coaxing custodians to keep separated materials indeed separate, which is no small feat, I might add!.

She had a chance to develop and hone presentation skills, try out methods on how to gently guide adults towards changing their ways, and be surrounded by adoring first graders that were hugging her leg and thanking for teaching them how to recycle.

Dana learned that it takes a LOT of perseverance to change large scale systems like schools in order to effect change, but that the journey is worthwhile because of the students. Seeing school garbage being reduced by 98% by teaching the students to sort is instant gratification for any environmental studies major.

” I joined We Future Cycle because the organization has the power to create enduring change in our community. The success in providing green refuse streams to 30% of Westchester’s school children is a testament to the unique change that only a local organization can achieve. By establishing a presence in elementary schools, We Future Cycle instills upon tomorrow’s leaders a cultural norm to practice for the rest of their lives. Connecting with children at a young age allows us to shape the way our future citizens see trash, so instead of seeing “waste,” they see opportunity.

As a sophomore at Oberlin College majoring in environmental studies with a concentration in urban sustainable management, my time at We Future Cycle will provide me with tremendous insight into effective solutions for solid waste management in an urban setting. Additionally, as a social psychology major, I especially appreciate We Future Cycle’s experience successfully motivating students to participate in recycling and other green practices. I hope to gain a greater understanding as to what core social motives our teaching implements act upon in order to further social change. ” Dana Roe Goldstein

We Future Cycle is wishing Dana all the best in her continued studies and we are ready to welcome more College interns into the world of school waste management. Hold on and enjoy the ride!

Rye’s Midland Elementary School Reduces Waste by 97%

Today was a big day at Rye’s Midland Elementary School. With great support and enthusiasm of Principal Jim Boylan, Assistant Principal Joanna Napolitano and the PTO, under the leadership of Cali Gibbs and Emily Keenan, Midland’s students made a huge splash of a difference!

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The We Future Cycle team went from classroom to classroom to present the program, show the different materials, answer questions, model the process and stir up a big energetic frenzy to save the world. These students were READY to make a difference.

993a8b47-09cd-42e7-ad0f-7319ff71c8e6In the lunchroom the newly installed station was put into action, and despite the most challenging of lunch menu days, which is brunch for lunch with syrup containers, the students pulled off a flawless sorting.

The results speak for themselves. From 161 lbs of total waste:

Liquid = 65 lbs (40.4%)
Cartons = 8 lbs (5%)
Commingled plastics = 13.5 lbs (8.4%)
Compost (food and paper) = 42.5 lbs (26.4%)
Trays = 27.5 lbs (17%)
Trash = 4.5 lbs (2.8%)

Only 2.8% of the entire lunchroom waste was actually trash!

A 97% diversion into recycling and composting streams is really outstanding. Though what is even more astounding is the small amount of food waste. We are seeing usually more like 50-60% food waste in public schools with the NY State Lunch Program, but this school leaves all food choices up the students, there is no “you have to take these items to qualify for a full lunch” which results in MUCH less food waste and we also practically did not have a share basket of unopened food. Truly a wonderful thing!

While we are celebrating this fabulous result, we are also seeing some areas of opportunity when it comes to single serve offerings from food service. Principal Boylan realized that single serve ketchup pouches, syrup containers, hand wipes and others are making it very hard for students to timely sort their lunch waste.  The equation is easy…… “what goes in, must come out.” Mr Boylan will see how he can help his students do an even better job sorting their lunch waste into recycling and composting by managing the incoming flow of packaging and possibly switching to squeeze bottles and other dispensers.

We Future Cycle will continue to support Midland Elementary School for one week and we are sure that the hand off to the local champions as well as the very enthusiastic and supportive PTO will lead to it being embedded into the culture of the school very quickly, becoming the “new normal”.