Ashley was using magic to lure them to our table (we had a plate with Girl Scout cookies……) and while munching they learned about the program.
What do you do if you’re a teacher and everything you’re passionate about is largely absent from the curriculum?
This is the dilemma I faced more than 20 years ago when I was teaching in the public schools. I had discovered sustainability through the issue of world hunger and was desperately searching for a way to bring these issues into my teaching. I wanted to inspire students and develop their skills in addressing global issues. And that’s when I decided to start Creative Change. I wanted to build an organization focused on supporting educators to teach effectively about sustainability. I wanted to equip people with quality curriculum that supports inquiry, engagement and action.
We Future Cycle’s mission is to bring sustainability awareness to students, as young as kindergarten. Children can learn that their choices, their actions count and can make a big difference. We know that doing hands-on source separation in the lunchroom needs to be backed up with class room activities. We created the 2 week “Bash the Trash” program where a 10 day curriculum is tying each step of the program into ELA, Math, Social Studies and Science.
Creative Change Educational Solutions graciously supplied us with cutting edge, STEM oriented lesson units, helping teachers to incorporate sustainability education into the mainstream curriculum.
For more information on Creative Change Educational Solutions, go to CREATIVECHANGE.NET
Colonial Fifth Graders Challenge School To “Bash The Trash”
Colonial’s fifth graders recently challenged the school to “Bash the Trash” and go litterless at lunch, reducing the trash collected every day. Parents were urged to use recyclable containers for food and drink (containers that could be returned home, washed and reused). At the end of the challenge, the fifth graders plan to tell the school how much the trash was reduced, based on data they collected. Their hope is to leave a “littlerless legacy” at Colonial when they graduate.
Please see full published “The Pelham Weekly” article here:
We Future Cycle and The Science Barge are teaming up to bring environmental education and hands-on every day source separation to a local elementary school. The program is sponsored by the school’s PTA and championed by the principal.
Jennifer Sloan, Director of Education of The Science Barge, gave the introductory presentation to the students. Neatly sitting and attentive were 150 students ranging from Kindergarten to 5th grade, listening to the fascinating story of garbage through times.
Did you know there were once “Piggeries” in New York? Pigs were kept in Central Park and were let out at night to roam the city and eat the garbage off the streets. The kids were giggling to no end when the presentation included a cartoon piggy, um, leaving its own waste on the street, illustrating that pigs roaming the street may not be the best waste management solution after all!
Ms. Sloan very skillfully and with great energy combined science with social studies explaining what garbage is, why it is a problem, and how kids can be empowered to tackle this problem. It was heart-warming to see how attentive and engaged the students were to her presentation.
We Future Cycle guided the students through a Waste Audit as well as a Waste Analysis. Students counted, charted, weighed and identify what waste is being generated at school.
After establishing the current waste situation, the students helped setting up a recycling station to sort the materials into left over liquid, milk cartons, commingled, compost, trays and remaining trash.
It was eye-opening for students and staff to see the mountains of untouched food sorted out, that was normally going straight in the garbage. In this school with 300 students, there were 63 pieces of fruit, 73 pre-packaged vegetables, 15 apple sauce containers and 3 milks completely untouched. We Future Cycle is now helping this school to donate this food to a local agency.
The wonderfully supportive custodial staff was all aghast to see that their usual 10 bags of garbage was reduced to 1/4 bag of loose softplastic and single service wrappers. All the rest went into recycling, composting or reusable avenues.
We Future Cycle and The Science Barge are working together to bring Environmental Education to Westchester Schools.
Creating Change is all about showing alternatives. That is exactly the mission of the Science Barge in Yonkers.
The Science Barge greenhouse, floating on the Hudson River, grows an abundance of fresh produce including tomatoes, melons, greens, and lettuce with zero net carbon emissions, zero pesticides, and zero runoff. All of the energy needed to power the Barge is generated by solar panels, wind turbines, and biofuels while the hydroponic greenhouse is irrigated solely by collected rainwater and purified river water, thus operating completely “off the grid.”
It is the only fully functioning demonstration of renewable energy supporting sustainable food production in New York. It is now docked in downtown Yonkers just north of the Yonkers Pier.
Check them out, they are fabulous!
We Future Cycle is proud to be featured on FiOS 1 News by reporter Christina Chiarelli, who was on site at Hastings’ Hillside Elementary School. Ms. Chiarelli spoke with the school’s head custodian, George Giannone, aide Kim Osborne, and many students about how the program has dramatically reduced lunchroom waste.
As well, interviews with the students’ demonstrated how much they have learned about recycling from participating in the program! Hands-on recycling and composting give kids a tangible understanding of how their actions have an impact on the environment.
Watch the broadcast by clicking here or on the image below:
We thank New Rochelle’s Interim Superintendent, Dr. Jeffrey Korostoff, for boldly going where no one had gone before by fully supporting the program and implementing it in all of New Rochelle’s Elementary Schools.
We thank Maureen Caraballo, Treasurer for Hastings-on-Hudson School District, for being the major force to bring the program to Hastings’ schools.
We thank Paul Feiner, Supervisor of the Town of Greenburgh, for endorsing us to bring the program to all of Greenburgh’s school districts.
We thank the White Plains Sustainability Committee to endorse us and to recommend the program to White Plains schools. We are very pleased and excited to be presenting this program to the White Plains Administration in January.
We thank the City Council of New Rochelle for endorsing We Future Cycle programs and for working with us to bring the first Food Waste Composting Site to Westchester.
We thank Joseph Carvin, Supervisor of the Town of Rye, for endorsing the program and affiliating with us. Mr. Carvin is also founder of the organization “One World, United & Virtuous.”
We thank Catherine Parker, Westchester County Legislator and Chair of the Committee for Environment and Energy, for featuring our program at the Board of Legislators and the Westchester Environmental Summit, as well as for her continuous and outspoken support. She is the major force behind creating a Westchester-based solution for food waste composting.
We thank the Columbia University Capstone Program for recommending the implementation of the We Future Cycle School recycling program as part of the Zero Waste Initiative to the Town of Mamaroneck, Village of Mamaroneck, and the Village of Larchmont.
We thank the Greenburgh Nature Center for offering a meeting venue to present the program as well as many other earth-saving and thought-provoking environmental presentations.
We thank County Legislator Sheila Marcotte and James Maisano for honoring us with a Proclamation for creating and implementing the program at New Rochelle Trinity School. New Rochelle’s Trinity Elementary School is truly a leader, one of the first schools to implement with an exceptional administration.
We thank the Pelham Sustainability Committee EcoPel for featuring the program and for their efforts to bring it to the Pelham schools.
We thank the Westchester Municipal Offcials Association for endorsing the program and bringing it back as recommendation to their communities.
We thank all the people that support us in our work to bring sustainability and environmental education into the schools as a daily learning experience, so we can raise environmentally-literate children.
Charles Kettering said these famous words: “The world hates change, yet is has been the only thing that brought progress.” We could not agree more.