WeFutureCycle’s mission is to create a generation of kids that care.
Our program teaches students to think past the garbage pail. They learn that their small actions of sorting their waste makes a huge difference and every single day, participating schools maintain a diversion rate of 95%.
Students are now sorting more or less on auto-pilot and are transferring that behavior across other aspects of their lives. We see more reusable water bottles, more reusable containers and more and more even reusable spoons and straws.
Students have learned that making garbage is actually a decision and they are now choosing to NOT make garbage.
WeFutureCycles mission is to create a generation of kids that care about their environment and that make changes in their personal behaviors every day for the better of all of us.
COVID requirement brought about big changes in schools. Some were very bad for the environment because lunches became mainly single serve packaged again.
But some changes were also wonderful and it is clear that these new trends remain.
COVID meant that water fountain at schools were closed and students could only refill a bottle at a station rather than drink directly from one. This lead to the fact that nearly all students are now carrying a reusable water bottle.
And those bottles are neatly parked outside the gym every day. Great optics!
White Plains school district has been working with WeFutureCycle for 6 years now and its entire school population is well acquainted with the Recycling station and system in their lunchrooms., The pandemic and the resulting changes in food service put the system on hold for a year.
Now, WeFutureCycle is back to bring environmental literacy to students.
White Plains MAS students just learned in class by class presentation about different packaging and why these materials can be sorted into recycling.
Students as young as K and 1 are very literal in their thinking. When shown a juicebox, they will see JUICE and not the juiceBOX.
Teaching these students to look past the content brings about a whole new level of thinking and even though they were all wearing masks, it was so obvious in their eyes how they were making this very important transition.
After the classroom programs we observed the students putting their new knowledge to test in the lunchroom. It was quite amazing to see the difference in sincerity about their sorting task, now that their heart and head is connected to the hands.
“How does bread interact with water?” that was the question Mamaroneck Avenue School second graders had to answer in a slightly messy, hands-on science experiment. Followed up by “How does plastic interact with water?”.
Learning about organic and inorganic materials and how these interact in the environment with water and wind was the basis for We Future Cycle’s presentation to second graders.
Students learned about the problems related to littering. They learned that plastic does not break down in the environment and lasts forever and effects wild life as it enters the food chain.
Watching a video about how the street litter makes it through our rain water sewer systems into the ocean and just how big the plastic problem is was eye opening to them. Footage of divers swimming through a soup of floating garbage made them collectively groan. And seeing animals dying from ingesting plastic made this problem personal to them.
Each class started a lively discussion on how every student can be the solution to the problem. Each student had brilliant ideas and wrote about them in their daily workbook.
We Future Cycle’s motto is “Creating a generation of kids that care” and these MAS students are an inspiration to all.
We Future Cycle had the pleasure of taking 4th and 5th grade students of Church St. Elementary School in White Plains on an environmental Scavenger Hunt during indoor recess.
The interest of the kids was immediately piqued by our colorful “Did you know?” posters. The posters are filled with many details about our impact on the environment including how Westchester County disposes of all of our waste, the effect of plastics on our environment and effects of processing of aluminum.
The students would scavenge through all of the information on the posters and find the clues needed to complete a questionnaire. They were eager participants and very proud to be able to find the answers.
Asked at the end of the activity if they learned anything new, every participant answered with a resounding “YES!”. All in all a great success…the kids had a lot of fun while learning a great deal.
We Future Cycle had the pleasure of taking the 4th grade students of Post Road Elementary School in White Plains on an environmental Scavenger Hunt.
Outside of the lunchroom, We Future Cycle representatives set up a series of colorful “Did you know?” posters which outlined with graphic pictures environmental issues and what can be done by everybody to help.
Students got a detective sheet and searched for clues on the posters, all the while learning many details about how everyday behavior impacts our environment. They stared at the mind boggling number of 500 million straws used every single day in the US alone, while cringing at the picture of a poor loggerhead turtle with a straw in her nose. They expressed shock seeing the mountain of garbage floating in our oceans due to litter on land getting washed into the water ways. And they all learned, that everything we do matters. Small everyday behavior changes can make a big impact.
The students read through all of the information and were able to answer all of the questions. We had quite a few Girl Scout members participate! Math teacher Ms. Schmidt came by and was very interested in how the posters gave the kids a way of understanding math principles such as percentages and other relative values.
Indeed, a very successful day of Scavenger Hunting at Post Road Elementary. Post Road Elementary School is participating in the We Future Cycle recycling program for 3 years now and all students are total pros when it comes to sorting their lunch waste into compostable, recyclable and non recyclable materials, thus reducing their waste by a whopping 97%.
These kind of games help connect their hands to their hearts, making them lifelong agents of change in their communities.
White Plains School district has adopted the We Future Cycle recycling program 4 years ago and most of their elementary school population has now seen only to carefully sort their lunchwaste into compostable, recyclable and non recyclable materials. Achieving everyday a 97% reduction.
Post Rd was particularly successful reducing its garbage from 277 lbs per lunch to a mere 5 lbs. Here is a picture of the proud principal Jessie Ossorio after the first lunch with just one fluffy little bag.
Post Road elementary schools bright and inviting lunchroom welcomes 2 grades at a time to the right and the left of the center aisle. Each grade has their own recycling station and students are invited by the head custodian Rob Dell’Orletta to come up and help at the station, once done with eating.
And boy…. do they take him up on that offer. Every single lunch period, especially the littlest grades are eager to help and shoulder to shoulder they are standing to help their classmates through the process. Mr Dell’Orletta just smiles and confirms that this is an every day event.
It is heartwarming to see these eager faces, their unflinching commitment to the cause, calling Mr Dell’Orletta over when a classmate made a mistake and they cannot reach the offending material to remove. When I asked them what they were doing, they answered “we are saving the world”, and sure thing! that is what these troopers are doing, every single day.
White Plains elementary students know all about recycling. No wonder, all schools are participating for years in the We Future Cycle recycling program, sorting their waste in the lunchroom and thus diverting 97% into recycling and composting streams. Mamaroneck Avenue School is a particularly well oiled machine thanks to the super supportive administration and a head custodian fully on board.
However, even though these youngsters are masters of the sorting, when asked what happens to the material, their answer comes a bit hesitantly….”it is getting recycled…?”, the statement more like a question than an answer.
We Future Cycle had recently the opportunity to share the inner workings of a Material Recovery Facility with grade 3, 4 and 5. Students learned in auditorium presentations how the world of science dominates the sorting process by using friction, gravity, magnetism, anti-current. sensors and motion. They learned that materials can only be recycled if they are sorted so cleanly into just THE ONE type of material. They learned about optical scanners, contamination and wishful recycling and they were stunned into silence while learning what it takes to make some of those everyday materials. Can you imagine an auditorium filled with third graders in unison gasping of disbelieve and then stunned silence?
Learning about the environmental foot print of materials is the key to waste reduction. We Future Cycle empowers students to share that message with their caregivers. Nothing is more frustrating to a child that just learned to embrace sustainability, only to find non-recyclable stuff in their lunchbox every day. MAS students pledged to be agents of change in their community. Way to go!
White Plains Church St students participated in large numbers in a Green Writing Contest. This contest is sponsored by the late Nina Chin’s Family.
Nina Chin was a life long educator who believed that students become better learners and readers through writing and every year she sponsored from her own money a writing contest for her students. Her family is keeping up this lovely tradition in her name and this year White Plains Church St Elementary School was the first White Plains school to be chosen for this prestigious grant.
Over 60 students rose to the challenge and wrote heart warming essays to the topic “How can I make a difference”. The judges had a hard time choosing the top 10 entries.
When the day of the celebration came, the auditorium was filled with excited 3rd, 4th and 5th graders, all anxiously awaiting if their essay made it. Each time Principal Myra Castillo called out a name, loud applause ripped through the room. It was very energizing.
Each winner came up to receive a certificate and an envelope (and of course a hug!) and were all smiles for the picture.
It was a wonderful experience and students learned that it pays to be a writer.