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Supporting Sustainability in Schools

According to a report by the World Wildlife Foundation, The Kroger Co. Foundation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, on average, each U.S. school produces 39.2 pounds of food waste per student per year (9% higher than the average amount each American wastes at home), amounting to approximately 530,000 tons per year. This translates into 1.9M MTCO2e of greenhouse gasses and 20.9B gallons of water. At the landfill, the waste then emits an additional estimated 217,500 MTCO2e (methane gas). This combined impact of sending school food waste to landfills is equivalent to adding 46,100 vehicles to the road each year!

Lauren Click reading aloud a book to a group of children.

Get Your School to Zero Food Waste: Our Strategy

Phase 1: Preparation

  • Conduct research on composting methods and offsite hauler options.

  • Obtain necessary permissions and approvals (school, district, and/or municipality).

  • Conduct mandatory staff training (teachers, janitorial, administration, aides) on composting procedures.

Phase 2: Composting Curriculum Deployment

  • Implement Let's Go Compost's composting lessons and activities in classrooms.

  • Engage students in hands-on, small scale composting projects for baseline education to reduce contamination.

Phase 3: Cafeteria Composting Setup

  • Coordinate with an offsite hauler to schedule food waste pick-up logistics.

  • Install labeled compost bins in the cafeteria and train cafeteria staff on waste sorting.

Phase 4: Program Launch and Monitoring

  • Launch the composting program with offsite hauler pick-ups in full swing.

  • Monitor composting progress and adjust procedures as needed.

  • Promote program awareness and participation among students and staff.

Phase 5: Continued Evaluation and Expansion

  • Evaluate program effectiveness and waste reduction outcomes.

  • Gather feedback from program participants and make improvements.

  • Explore opportunities for expanding the composting program or implementing additional sustainable practices.

Our K-12 STEAM Classroom Composting Program

Our K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (“STEAM”) Classroom Composting program is designed to enrich the educational experience of students by integrating composting practices into the curriculum. Our program provides educators with selected classroom composting materials and free access to a downloadable curriculum that accompanies the materials, including lesson plans, posters, and guides to support teachers and parents. Through our initiative, we aim to enhance environmental literacy, foster a deeper understanding of waste reduction and recycling, and inspire the next generation of environmentally conscious citizens while ultimately reducing the amount of waste going from schools and to landfills.

Free Curriculum:

Coming Soon

About Our Curriculum Author

Tricia Rushing, a Ph.D. candidate in Curriculum & Instruction at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, is distinguished by her expertise in Educational Psychology and Integrative STEM Education, which she applies to develop cutting-edge K-12 STEM curricula. Her work spans a broad spectrum, including the creation of environmentally-focused and scientific inquiry-based curricula. As a curriculum designer and science subject matter expert, Tricia excels in tailoring educational content to meet a wide range of student needs, enhancing learning experiences across various educational settings. Her approach, grounded in research-backed learning theories, significantly contributes to preparing students to discover and appreciate a world filled with opportunities for scientific exploration.

Schools We Support

Why STEAM?

Our program’s alignment Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math principles promotes critical thinking and bridges educational gaps to the underfunded educational settings. In fact, not only does the STEAM framework teach students how to think critically, problem solve and use creativity, it prepares students to work in fields that are poised for growth! A report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects growth in STEAM-related occupations of 8% between now and 2029, with median annual wages of $86,980 for STEAM jobs, compared to $39,810 for all occupations.

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