Ditch Disposables in the TREC meals program.
Our goal was to raise awareness about the negative impact of single-use plastics and get students to think about reusable alternatives. Our project aimed to reduce waste in our school’s meals program by eliminating the need for disposable cups through a switch to reusable alternatives.
Our school serves some of our city’s most vulnerable learners. Our school offers a meals and snacks program to allow our students to better focus on their learning. Our meals program currently uses reusable plates, but we lack the dishwasher and storage capacity to allow for the use of standard cups and mugs. As a result, our school went through hundreds of disposable bottles of water and plastic and styrofoam cups every week. Our project, with the help of EcoLeague funding, allowed the meals program to switch to reusable beverage containers by provided reusable beverage containers to students in need.
Upgrading our water fountains to filtered water fountains with bottle filling capabilities allowed our meals program to make the switch to reusable beverage containers. Students led an educational campaign to raise awareness of the impact of single-use plastics. Meals program staff encouraged and reminded students to use reusable beverage containers. EcoLeague funding was used to purchase reusable containers for those in need. All staff helped to identify students and distribute containers to those students that did not have access to reusable beverage containers at home. A prize draw was used to create a culture of increased environmental responsibility by encouraging students to bring reusable beverage containers.