GREEN TEAM Eco-Stars

Every year, teachers from across Massachusetts join THE GREEN TEAM to integrate environmental education and actions with their students. There are Eco-Stars out there who do wonders with their GREEN TEAMS. THE GREEN TEAM program is very grateful for the teachers and students across Massachusetts who work to improve our environment. The following Eco-Stars have worked very hard to inspire their students. If you have a story to share about your GREEN TEAM Eco-Stars, please send it to recycle@thegreenteam.org for possible posting on THE GREEN TEAM website.

2016-2017:

Arlington Middle School, Lawrence, MA, David Lemay, Teacher
Arlington Middle School students visit E.L. Harvey & Sons
recycling facility in Westborough

Arlington Middle School ActiGators in Lawrence created a fantastic Green Team video series. In addition to the E.L. Harvey field trip video above, they also have videos about the Dos and Don’ts of Recycling and Green Goals from the Great Green Genie.

Mount Alvernia, Chestnut Hill, MA, Maria Lyons, Teacher
Students at Mount Alvernia Academy in Chestnut Hill proudly
display their Green Team Certificate.

Mount Alvernia Academy enjoyed being part of The Green Team. The students learned valuable lessons throughout the school year. They were dedicated to the protection of the environment.

Peirce School, Arlington, MA, Lori Pescatore, Teacher
Students at Peirce School in Arlington pose with the last load of collected textiles
that was set to be delivered for donation or recycling.

All nine public schools in Arlington participated in a Textile Recovery Challenge competition between March and April to see who could collect the most textiles. They collected hundreds of bags of textiles among them!

Warwick Community School, Warwick, MA, Lynn Hansell, Teacher
Students at Warwick Community School tear up newspapers to add to their worm bins.

Warwick Community School set up two new garden compost bins, repaired the outdoor lunchroom food compost bin, and will be comparing and contrasting the effectiveness of each bin to evaluate which system is better. They report that the benefits from this activity include learning about decomposers, reducing school-based waste, and learning about worm anatomy and reproduction.

Greenfield Math and Science Academy, Greenfield, MA, Laurie Boosahda, Teacher
Greenfield Math and Science Academy’s video about recycling and composting.

Students at the Greenfield Math & Science Academy in Greenfield created a film about recycling and composting for the Greenfield Schools Film Fest.

Leroy L. Wood Elementary School, Fairhaven, MA, Kimberly Katz, Teacher
The Leroy L. Wood Elementary School Green Team decorating pinecone birdfeeders.

Students at Leroy L. Wood Elementary School in Fairhaven repurposed pinecones to create bird feeders. Students sold these birdfeeders as a fundraiser and donated the funds they collected to the Fairhaven Community Trail Network. This funding can be used to build bridges on the trail right near their school.

Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School, Dennis, MA, Abir Zaineh, Teacher
A student at Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School making a poster for their Cradles to Crayons collection.

Students at Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School in South Yarmouth made posters and collected items for Cradles to Crayons. The school collected winter clothes, books, and arts and crafts supplies. This activity connected unused items with people in need rather than sending those items to the trash.

Sharon High School Pathways Program, Sharon, MA, Megan Sullivan, Administrator
The display at Sharon Middle School, showing a week’s worth of items from the trash that could have been recycled.

As part of their effort to improve recycling at their school, students at Sharon Middle School created a display of all the items thrown in the trash one week that should have been in the recycling. The display was eye-catching and made an impact on students who paid more attention to how they disposed of their trash and recycling in the weeks that followed.

Sprague Elementary School, Wellesley, MA, Ellen Banthin, Teacher
A sign made by students at Sprague Elementary School illustrating the materials from the cafeteria that can be recycled.

A team of approximately 25 students at Sprague Elementary School in Wellesley helped start a cafeteria recycling program. Students created signs about what can be recycled, and presented the program in a school assembly. One student even wrote a letter to the Board of Health in support of food donation. As a result of their efforts, the school now produces fewer than two bags of trash, down from the six generated before the program was implemented!

“Sprague’s success was dependent on learning from the Cafeteria Recycling Pilot conducted at Bates Elementary School, the support of Sprague’s principal, Susan Snyder, and the help of the Parent Green Team.” – Ellen Banthin, Sprague Elementary School, Wellesley

Captain Samuel L. Brown School, Peabody, MA, Diane Bugler, Teacher
Students from Captain Samuel L. Brown School show off their upcycled can tab jewelry.

The Garden Club at Captain Samuel L. Brown School in Peabody teaches children the benefits of growing their own food, eating well, and how to start a garden at home. Students are mentored by members of the local adult garden club and work with a garden located in the front of the school that also serves as a resource for lessons. Some plants are started in an indoor hydroponic garden for student investigations. Decaying plants are used for science projects and the school is currently working with a Boy Scout to repair and expand the current garden to include a hoop garden bed.

Students also attended Peabody’s annual GreenFest, where they made items to sell (such as candles, crayons, upcycled pouches, and can tab jewelry), and presented eco-friendly science fair projects. The school was chosen as the site for this event four years ago because of their efforts with sustainability, and many former students return to help out.

South Street Elementary School, Fitchburg, MA, Sue Tourigny, Administrator
A student from South Street Elementary School piles cardboard as part of the school’s new recycling program.

Students in the 21st Century After School Program at South Street Elementary School in Fitchburg started a recycling program. Students worked with the school’s custodian to set up recycling bins in all areas of the school, and also put up posters and sent out messages to classrooms. Two days each week students collected, sorted, and weighed the recyclables. They kept weekly graphs to learn about ways to limit what is going into landfills. This recycling effort is related to district-wide recycling assistance for the City of Fitchburg from a MassDEP Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP) grant, which provided funding to purchase recycling bins.

The school is also adding three raised gardens to three that are already being used. Students will plant a butterfly garden, an herb garden and a vegetable garden, and learn about composting.

Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School, Bridgewater, MA, Jessica Lazarus, Teacher
Students from Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School clean up the beach!

Youth Environmental & Social Society (YESS) students at Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School in Bridgewater have been busy with a number of environmental activities, including field trips, guest speakers, fundraisers, events, and hands-on activities! These activities are frequently written about in their school newspaper and shared with the local community.

Anne T. Dunphy School, Williamsburg, MA, Johanna Korpita, Teacher
Anne T. Dunphy School’s Green Team wearing green to show their support for the environment.

The Green Team at Anne T. Dunphy School in Williamsburg participated in the Kids 4 the Earth million letter campaign. They wrote letters to the President expressing their concern for the Earth.

Rockport Middle and High School, Rockport, MA, Robert Allia, Teacher
Rockport Middle and High School Green Team members and their tower garden.

At Rockport Middle and High School in Rockport, students are learning more about how plants grow and about hydroponic gardening. They planted a beautiful tower garden in the school’s new greenhouse.

Edward Parthum Middle School, Lawrence, MA, Julia Perlowski, Teacher

Students at Edward Parthum Middle School in Lawrence are GREENing their school through art. Middle school students are encouraging younger students to be aware of trash by painting garbage cans.

Edward Parthum Middle School students paint trash cans during art class.
Sandwich Public School District, Sandwich, MA,

The Sandwich Public School District includes three schools: Forestdale School, Oak Ridge School, and Sandwich High School. In November of 2015, the Sandwich Department of Public Works received a grant from the MassDEP Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP) to improve the recycling collection program in their school district. The SMRP grant funded purchase of compactors and cart tippers to consolidate recyclable containers and paper collected throughout the district. MassDEP SMRP grants are a great resource to help school districts. See the MassDEP website for information on applying for a SMRP grant.

Katharine Lee Bates Elementary School, Wellesley Hills, MA, Marybeth Martello, PTA/Parent Volunteer

In the spring of 2016, Wellesley’s Katharine Lee Bates Elementary School decided to examine the
generation and management of waste in its cafeteria. Bates became the first K-12 school in New
England to join the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge, and also participated in the US
EPA’s WasteWise program. As part of these programs, Bates embarked on a three-phase process to 1.
Assess cafeteria waste, 2. Implement a program to reduce and divert a certain percentage of this
waste, and 3. Evaluate the measures implemented. Their Cafeteria Waste Assessment Report found
that 93% of the waste generated during their assessment could be donated for hunger relief, fed to
animals, composted, or recycled. The report also outlines strategies for diverting this waste.

Photo from Cafeteria Waste Assessment Report of students from Katherine Lee Bates Elementary
School in Wellesley lined up to sort their tray waste at the end of their lunch period.
Newton Elementary School, Greenfield, MA, Alison Palermo, Teacher

In December, Newton Elementary School in Greenfield started their program to compost food and
paper waste from both their cafeteria and kitchen. Like other schools in Greenfield, the compostable
materials are sent to Martin’s Farm for composting. In the first five days of this program, the school
collected 386 pounds of compostable materials and only 97 pounds of trash. The 4th graders help
monitor the separation of these materials at lunch and help weigh each bag.

Johnson Elementary School, Nahant, MA, Kevin Andrews, Principal

In November, The Nahant Department of Public Works and the Johnson Elementary School Green
Team joined together to install Idle-Free Zone signs (provided by THE GREEN TEAM) outside of the
school. Submit an application form to request free idle reduction signs or materials for your school.

Workers installing Idle-Free Zone signs at Johnson Elementary School in Nahant, MA.
Mount Alvernia Academy, Chestnut Hill, MA, Maria Lyons, Teacher
Students at Mt. Alvernia Academy in Chestnut Hill display their recycling bins.
Greenfield Public School District, Greenfield, MA

Last Spring, all schools in the Greenfield Public School District started collecting food scraps from
their lunchrooms and sending them to Martin’s Compost Farm. A recent post on the Center for
EcoTechnology blog describes how wasted food is transformed into a nutrient-rich soil amendment at
compost operations like Martin’s Compost Farm. The creation of this district-wide program to divert
wasted food from disposal was made possible by a grant from the MassDEP Sustainable Materials
Recovery Program.

2015-2016:

Captain Samuel Brown Elementary School, Peabody, MA, Diane Bugler, Teacher

Captain Samuel Brown Elementary School received a Sustainability Award from Green Schools in the 2016 Green Difference Awards. This award recognizes the school for having a proven track record of at least five years’ of excellence in environmental education. Captain Samuel Brown Elementary School was one five schools nationwide to receive this award.

Mount Alvernia Academy, Chestnut Hill, MA, Maria Lyons, Teacher

Mount Alvernia Academy in Chestnut Hill planted wildflowers to attract butterflies. They purchased these plants with the garden center gift certificate they received for being a GREEN TEAM Grand Prize
Winner.

July 2016
Students at Mount Alvernia Academy planting flowers to attract butterflies.
Greenfield Math and Science Academy, Greenfield, MA, Laurie Boosahda, Teacher

Greenfield Math and Science Academy in Greenfield planted hardy shrubs and perennial flowers this spring. They purchased these plants with the garden center gift certificate they received for being a GREEN TEAM Grand Prize Winner.

Students at Greenfield Math and Science Academy planting shrubs.
Dryden Veterans Memorial School, Springfield, MA, Jessica Burt, PTA

Students at Dryden Veterans Memorial School in Springfield have been busy gardening! Second and third graders planted four fruit trees, vegetables, and flowers. Third graders also learned how to use both an outdoor compost bin and a worm bin. All students are involved in caring for the school garden and learning about where their food comes from.

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Students at Dryden Veterans Memorial School planting a peach tree.
 

Three schools in Greenfield started collecting food scraps in their cafeterias for composting. Greenfield High School, which also switched from disposable trays and utensils to washable ones, reduced cafeteria trash from 15 bags per day down to three! The Discovery School at Four Corners is diverting one ton of food scraps and liquids from the landfill each month. At The Math and Science Academy at Green River, 86% of kitchen and cafeteria waste is being composted. These successes are the initial results of a 3-year Sustainable Materials Recovery grant provided by MassDEP to the Town of Greenfield, with assistance from the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District, through which all the Greenfield Schools will implement composting programs.

 

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A full compost collection bin at the Discovery School at Four Corners.
Quinsigamond Elementary School, Worcester, MA, Stephanie Syre-Hager, Focused Instructional

Quinsigamond Elementary School in Worcester switched to plastic milk bottles in their cafeteria. Students empty the extra liquid from these bottles and recycle them. The school also held its third annual Recycled Art Contest, as well as its third annual electronics and metal recycling drive.

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Students at Quinsigamond Elementary School empty plastic milk bottles before recycling.
Mount Alvernia Academy, Chestnut Hill, MA, Maria Lyons, Teacher

Mount Alvernia Academy in Chestnut Hill has been learning about climate change, endangered species, and gardening. Climate change is discussed in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade classes whenever it
applies to a subject, such as energy, ecosystems, habitats, earth science, or weather. Fifth graders did a project where they compared renewable and non-renewable energy sources. Fourth graders researched endangered species, and the school recognized Endangered Species Day. The school also planted a butterfly garden and other flowers around the school.

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Students at Mount Alvernia Academy present on energy sources.
Hull High School, Hull, MA, Sheila Blair, Teacher

Hull High School in Hull focused on reducing their plastic water bottle footprint this year with a “Think Outside the Bottle” campaign. This included sharing bottled water stats on informative water droplet signs around the school, a bottled vs tap water taste test, and selling stainless steel water bottles with the school’s mascot on them.

  “On a December Thursday, the Green Team held “The Water Challenge Bottled vs. Tap.” The team members conducted a doubleblind taste test to determine whether the high school community preferred bottled or tap water. In the doubleblind test, neither the students handing out the water nor the people tasting the water knew which cups had tap water and which held bottled water. The results of the test were that 49% of participants chose tap water, 40% chose bottled water, and 11% had no preference. In the end, Hull High School said Tap Water Rules!!” –Sheila Blair, Teacher

Hull High School also started collecting recycling in the gym, and athletic fields, expanded its compost program, and built three raised garden beds.

 
Fritzie Nace

The Hull High School Green Team’s Droplets of Info encourage reducing the school’s plastic water bottle footprint.
Hawlemont Regional School, Shelburne Falls, MA, Jean Bruffee, Teacher

Students at Hawlemont Regional School in Charlemont have been working on composting and reducing waste. They even integrated this topic into math lessons by calculating the square footage of their dumpster. The students also turned their paper recycling into new paper to create bookmarks, seed packets, cards, and gift tags.

 
Fritzie Nace

Paper projects made by Hawlemont Regional School students.
Greenfield Math and Science Academy, Greenfield, MA, Laurie Boosahda, Teacher

At Greenfield Math and Science Academy in Greenfield, 6th graders have been researching recycling and
composting. They visited the Springfield Materials Recovery Facility and Martin’s Compost Farm. Students also created sculptures from nonrecyclable trash.

 
Fritzie Nace

Trash sculptures made by 6th graders at Greenfield Math and Science Academy.
Agawam Junior High School, Agawam, MA, Sandra Johnson, Teacher

At Agawam Junior High School in Agawam, 7th-grade students designed and planted a garden that is now being used by other classes to teach science and social studies. Students also completed the McAuliffe Learning Center’s Earth Odyssey Program and wrote to their superintendent to advocate raising money to purchase rain forest acreage.

 
Fritzie Nace

Agawam Junior High School 7th grade students with their school garden.
Whately Elementary School, Whately, MA, Peter Crisafulli, Principal

Whately Elementary School has been recycling and composting for years. Amy Donovan of the Franklin Solid Waste District regularly visits the school to help educate students, teachers, and administrators about the 5 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, Rot). Principal Peter Crisafulli reports that the 6th Graders collect recycling from around the school each week and load it into 15 recycling carts. The cafeteria also fills a 64-gallon tote with food scraps, which Bear Path farm picks up and composts. The school purchases finished compost from Bear Path for use in the school gardens. Fresh produce from the garden is used in the school’s excellent salad bar, closing the loop!

 
Fritzie Nace

The Whately Elementary Custodian is building a beautiful sorting station for the cafeteria!
Marion E Zeh Elementary School, Northborough, MA, Selvi Oyola, Parent Volunteer

Marion E Zeh Elementary School in Northborough recently set up a New Age Composter that they received from The Green Team. The photo below also shows two smaller bins they previously used but which did not have a large enough capacity.

  “The “how-to” video on setting up these compost bins was very helpful and it was an easy task to put it together.” – Parent Volunteer Selvi Oyola
 
Fritzie Nace
STEM Middle Academy, Springfield, MA, Rick Haggarty, Teacher

Rick Haggarty, a teacher at STEM Middle Academy in Springfield, reports on the recycling and composting at their school:

  “The students at STEM Middle Academy participate in a Recycling Committee and meet weekly. My special education class, and other classes, recycle school plastic milk bottles and all plastic and paper products, which are collected by our committee participants weekly. We are also awaiting delivery of compost containers, to facilitate composting of otherwise discarded food products.” – Teacher Rick Haggarty
Leroy L. Wood Elementary School, Fairhaven, MA, Kimberley Katz, Teacher

The Leroy Wood Elementary School Green Team Garden Club in Fairhaven has been busy! Created by Kimberly Katz and Martha Plummer, this club has had 68 students and 20 parent volunteers sign up. They have planted bulbs around the school building and installed new garden beds which they will plant in the spring. They were also able get funding through DonorsChoose.org for a new greenhouse. Throughout the winter they plan to explore plants, recycling, and composting. On December 10th, the club will plant a “PEACE” tree and decorate it with bird seed ornaments and cranberry garland.

  “We are looking forward to a year of fun as the Green Team Garden Club!” – Kimberly Katz
 
Fritzie Nace

The Fairhaven Neighborhood News printed a story about the Leroy Wood Elementary School Green Team Garden Club planting bulbs this fall.

2014-2015:

Winchester Public Schools, Winchester, MA, Fritzie Nace, Parent and School Recycling Coordinator

Fritzie Nace was recognized by the NRRA (Northeast Resource Recovery Association) as the “2014-2015 School Volunteer of the Year.” She initially got involved with recycling as an involved parent for her two sons’ elementary school. Eventually, she filled an open position on the School Council, during which she organized a volunteer-supported expansion of the school’s recycling program. Under her guidance, the program expanded to recycle plastics, glass, and metal in addition to paper. In her current role as School Recycling Coordinator, she is implementing Winchester’s district-wide recycling program under a MassDEP School Recycling Assistance grant.

Ms. Nace was recognized for going above and beyond to promote recycling – talking to people about its importance and organizing a workshop on “Implementing a School Recycling Program.” Her work extends far beyond normal work hours, which qualifies her as a volunteer recipient of this award. The award was presented at the NRRA School CLUB’s 6th Annual School Recycling Conference and Expo on June 9th in Manchester, NH. This conference provided an opportunity for networking between students, teachers and administrators. It was also a fantastic venue for sharing ideas for recycling education and implementing recycling programs in schools. Congratulations to Ms. Nace and Winchester Public Schools for all their hard work!

  Fritzie Nace being awarded the NRRA School CLUB’s “MA Volunteer of the Year” Award
Fritzie Nace
Danvers School District, Danvers, MA, Gail Bernard, Danvers DPW Program Coordinator

Danvers School District was recently awarded the Northeast Resource Recovery Association’s “2014-2015 MA School Recycler of the Year” Award. The award was presented at the NRRA School CLUB’s 6th Annual School Recycling Conference and Expo, held on June 9th at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH. Danvers ran a successful pilot program in 2012, during which they identified ways to improve school recycling. As a result of the program, they received a MassDEP School Recycling Grant of over $18,000 in 2013 to support expanding school recycling programs district wide with equipment and educational materials. This grant allowed them to design and implement a multi-phase program working with elementary, middle and high school programs through 2015.

One aspect of the program that made it successful was the formation of committees at each school with representatives from all stakeholder groups, including school administrators, teachers, custodians, kitchen staff, parents, public works staff and independent haulers. The schools also took action at every grade level: elementary students developed recycling kits and signed a recycling pledge; middle school students recorded a PSA/skit, labeled bins and created signs; high school students placed bins and signs throughout the school and created recycling teams. Danvers Schools sustain their program objectives through environmental presentations, daily news emails, morning announcements, and fliers. The award recognized their diverse and sustainable programs for all grade levels. Congratulations to Danvers Schools for their commendable recycling efforts!

  “Gail Bernard receives the NRRA School CLUB’s MA Recycler of the Year Award from Larry Melanson of NH the Beautiful Gail Bernard
Lenox High School Evergreen Club, Lenox, MA, Nina Marks, Teacher

Nina Marks shared some recent highlights from the Evergreen Club:

  “Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has awarded a generous grant to restore a butterfly habitat garden in the library courtyard. With additional donations from Project Native, Ward’s Nursery and Sexto Sol Landscaping, we are breaking ground this week and will complete the installation next September. We will be introducing 5 woody and 10 perennial host plants for Swallowtail, Spicebush Swallow Tail, Mourning Cloak and Monarch larvae. The garden will be open to art and English and science classes, as well as to library patrons, and we’ll be documenting the arrival of new insect species to the plantings.” –Nina Marks
Hull High School GREEN TEAM, Hull, MA, Nicole Palermo Cristaldi, PTA Parent Volunteer Green Team Coach

Hull High School GREEN TEAM students gave a presentation to the School Committee about their school composting and recycling programs. They used equipment provided by the GREEN TEAM in their presentation!

  Check out the video!
Dr. Paul Nettle Middle School, Haverhill, MA, Ted Becker, Teacher

Ted Becker, a teacher at Dr. Paul Nettle Middle School, has been participating with THE GREEN TEAM for 8 years. This year, Mr. Becker led three separate GREEN TEAMs that included 10-12 student volunteers and 2 team captains per team. THE GREEN TEAMs at Nettle scripted and delivered presentations on how to recycle, the value of recycling, and how the school and community benefit from recycling to 25 different homerooms and classrooms in Grades 5-8. The presentation included an interactive demonstration on proper source separation for recycling. Every Friday morning, GREEN TEAM captains read a “Green Recycling Tip of the Day” on the morning announcements in an effort to remind students and staff of Nettle’s commitment to recycling. And on April 25, Mr. Becker coordinated the Plug Pond CleanUp in Haverhill as part of Haverhill Goes Clean Earth Day of Service project, which was attended by 30 students, 5 Nettle Middle School staff, and many parents.

  “THE GREEN TEAMs asked all students at Dr. Paul Nettle Middle School to sign THE GREEN TEAM pledge form, securing 310 student signatures—a 50% increase in signed pledge forms for the school!”—Ted Becker IMG_3587

THE GREEN TEAM congratulates Ted Becker and Dr. Paul Nettle Middle School’s GREEN TEAM on a fantastic year supporting school recycling and increasing fellow students’ environmental awareness! We wish Mr. Becker all the best as he transfers to Haverhill High School, and we hope that another GREEN TEAM Champion will step up to lead the Dr. Paul Nettle Middle School GREEN TEAM in the future!

Sandwich High School, East Sandwich, MA, Alex Denmark, Student

Over the course of the 2014-2015 school year, Alex Denmark, a senior at Sandwich High School, developed and has been helping implement his school’s recycling program. After completing an independent study during his junior year that focused on recycling, renewable energy and the waste industry, Denmark applied what he learned to implement T.I.R.E.S. (The Initiative for Recycling and Environmental Sustainability) that began as a pilot program in Fall 2014, and will be carried out school-wide by the end of the academic year. Denmark estimates that the school program will recycle 15,000 pounds per year of paper, cardboard, plastic, and metal. For his efforts, Denmark has received a Prudential Spirit of Community Award.

  “His ability to make it appear as if he has 48 hours in a day when us mere mortals have just 24 hours a day is impressive.” —Principal Ellin Booras

Congratulations to Alex and Sandwich High School for successfully beginning a recycling program for paper, cardboard, plastics and metal!

Hanover Middle School, Hanover, MA, Benjamin Benitez, Teacher

The Hanover Middle School received 14 recycling containers from THE GREEN TEAM this year. They increased their collection capacity by over 200 gallons for Paper, cardboard, and bottles & cans. When asked about THE GREEN TEAM program, Benjamin Benitez stated:

  “THE GREEN TEAM is extremely important to our students, school and community. It teaches a valuable lesson to all involved and is preparing them for the future of generations. We have extremely limited funds to accommodate the new classroom and additional recyclers, this helped out MORE than you can imagine! Thank you so much for helping to provide us an opportunity to procure more bins and give back to our future based on our past.”
Cottage Street School, Sharon, MA, Crystal Bowman, PTO Officer

In April, THE GREEN TEAM at Cottage Street School in Sharon, led by PTO Officer Crystal Bowman, organized a school-wide clothing and textile recycling event with a textile fundraising group called Bags2School. Bags2School provides every student and their family with a bag and instructions on what materials are accepted for recycling. Bowman distributed the bags to every classroom, and Cottage Street Principal Kevin Madden encouraged students and their families to participate.

  “Over the course of one week in April, 3,800 pounds of textiles were collected for recycling, earning $338.00 to support GREEN TEAM projects at Cottage Street.”

THE GREEN TEAM congratulates Cottage Street on a successful collection event!

The Lillian Jacobs School, Hull, MA, Nicole Palermo-Cristaldi, Teacher

The students at Lillian Jacobs School had a busy year with THE GREEN TEAM. They set up recycling and composting programs, built raised bed gardens and held shoe and textile recycling drives.

  “The students are truly loving it! And the teachers love your resources on the website! Thank you!!” PIC
Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, Sudbury, MA

Congratulations to the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School Environmental Club for being named one of the 2014 President’s Environmental Youth Award National Winners by EPA Region 1. The Environmental Club carried out an initiative to encourage reusable water bottles and spread awareness of climate change to fellow students, which involved fundraising to purchase two purified water refilling stations for the school. Through these purchases, the Environmental Club hopes to decrease and eliminate the sale and use of one-use plastic water bottles, and reduce plastic waste generated at the school.

Danvers Public Schools, Danvers, MA, Gail Bernard, Danvers DPW Program Coordinator

In March, MassRecycle, a statewide non-profit that fosters sustainability by promoting recycling and eliminating waste, presented the Danvers School District with the 2015 K-12 Recycling Award at the MassRecycle R3 Conference held in Quincy. The award recognizes the tremendous work Danvers School District has accomplished developing a recycling program and promoting sustainable practices to students, faculty and staff.

In 2012, the Danvers Department of Public Works conducted a Pilot Elementary School Recycling Program, supported by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environment Protection (MassDEP). With an $18,000 grant awarded in 2013, the DPW built on that pilot with a multi-phase program within the District that included setting up Recycling Committees and increasing recycling collection containers at each of the seven schools. Student Green Teams at each school are assisting with educational campaigns on the recycling programs, as well as the development of outreach materials on how to successfully participate.

  “This program would not have been successful without the hard work of every student, teacher and administrator in the Danvers Public Schools and the support of the MassDEP,” explained Gail Bernard, Danvers Department of Public Works Program Coordinator. “I’m proud to have worked with such an incredible group, and they should be proud of their success!”

Congratulations on winning the MassRecycle award! This is a great success story showing how a town, their schools and MassDEP came together to address and increase waste diversion and bring awareness to the students.

2013-2014:

Middleboro School District, Middleboro, MA Jeff Stevens, Recycling Coordinator

Jeff Stevens, recycling coordinator for the Middleborough School District, which was a recipient of MassDEP’s School Recycling Assistance Grantin 2013, has reported on their amazing improvements in recycling rates since last year, noting that everyone’s contribution in those schools has made recycling quite a success.  Middleborough’s 5 schools recycled 83 full bags of plastic bottles and cans this November, compared to only 33 bags last November, a 250% increase!  On a similar note, they recycled 4.15 tons of paper this November, compared to 2.95 tons last November, an increase of 140%!

  “We are seeing a real attitude change in our students and staff,” Mr. Stevens said. “Recycling is becoming a natural and automatic part of daily school activities and routine. It is now the norm to recycle, not special effort. I hope we are preparing our students for the significant changes we all must make to improve the environment of our community, our country, and our planet. I am proud of their efforts and level of cooperation.” 

Congratulations to Jeff and the Middleboro School District, all of your efforts are paying off, and we thank you!

2011-2012:

Tri-County Schools, Easthampton, MA Danielle Crescione, Grades 4 – 12 teacher

Ms. Crescione’s 100 participating students were active in establishing their schools gardening and  to start the program.

“This has been a wonderful opportunity for our students of all ages to get connected with nature, the community, and how to make a difference in their local community. We have students that are composting and gardening at home now. It has truly been amazing to see the change in our school. Thank you so much.” 

Upon receiving a grand prize of a gift card to a local garden center, Ms. Crescione responded with the following note:

I just wanted to thank you for the letter sent from the DEP. We at Tri County are very proud to be part of THE GREEN TEAM and appreciated the recognition with the gift card. The students enjoyed buying fruit trees with it. Our program here has doubled in size in the past year. We have at least 70 students out of our 100 that participate in our recycling, composting and gardening initiative. They continue every day to actively find ways to improve their environment. Our students come from very difficult backgrounds and struggle with day to day expectations. This program has created a way to step out of themselves and into a solution for something larger. We will not only continue to expand our program but are in the process of bringing other schools like ours on board with us. Thank you again for the time to acknowledge us.”  

Congratulations to the Tri-County Schools GREEN TEAM on a great year.

Dennis Yarmouth Regional School District, South Yarmouth, MA Sandra J. Cashen, Facility Manager

Ms. Cashen has been a big friend of THE GREEN TEAM encouraging schools across her district to start recycling. Five schools received free recycling and composting equipment from THE GREEN TEAM and drastically increased the recycling rate for their school district. Ms. Cashen started promoting THE GREEN TEAM last year throughout her district.

  “Just wanted to thank you for allowing me to be part of a GREEN TEAM.  I have been passing out the information to the groups that have been interested in my recycling efforts and it is taking off like wildfire. We have some great TEAMS working this year in our district but one of my most active is getting recognized at our school committee meeting this coming Monday. I am so proud of them!

The 7th grade locker clean-up resulted in the following: To be recycled:

  • 55 pounds – bottles and cans
  • 495 pounds – paper and cardboard
  • 38 pounds – clothes
  • 115 pounds – notebooks and binders

To be reused:

  • 25 folders
  • 12 binders
  • 11 notebooks (some brand new)
  • 2 reams of unopened lined paper
  • 1 pack of unopened pens
  • 1 locker rack
  • 1 backpack
  • 6 new pencil cases

Thank you, Ms. Cashen, for being such a recycling Champion for your School District!

2010-2011

Helen E. James Elementary School, Williamsburg, MA Johanna Korpita, Grade 1 teacher

Ms. Korpita has been leading a GREEN TEAM since 2004 and her students always do a great job to improve their school’s environmental performance.  Her 12 first graders participated in many GREEN TEAM activities, such as calculating their carbon footprint, holding waste-free lunches, mapping safe-routes to school and planting a tree.

Each year, we try to do something that the other classes haven’t done. This year, we learned a lot about what we, as 6 year olds, could do to help the Earth. The children decided that they wanted to make a film to encourage others to help the Earth. We brainstormed, they told me points that they wanted people to understand, and then I typed up a script. They practiced their lines, eventually memorized their parts, and then I filmed their “Public Service Announcement”, entitled IT’S EASY BEING GREEN! We then showed this film to all classes in both of our town’s schools. Later on in the year, we had a premiere of our PSA at a Williamsburg School Committee meeting. The School Committee, our School District Superintendent, our School Principal, and many townsfolk and parents viewed the PSA and they were all duly impressed! It was a wonderful learning experience for everyone! We are also working in conjunction with our school cafeteria, our school custodian, our school gardening committee, and the Center for EcoTechnology (CET) to coordinate composting our school lunch waste. We have found a local farm that is willing to take our compost that our school garden can’t use, so the First Graders will be hard at work to make this program successful, along with the aforementioned folk. The students are very aware of the difference that they can make. They have honed their public speaking skills and they have become wonderful champions for their cause!”

Last year, Johanna Korpita’s GREEN TEAM received a grand prize performance from Jack Golden.

“Just a quick note of thanks from The Great Second Grade GREEN TEAM! This morning, my whole school was treated to Jack Golden’s very informative and entertaining performance! What a fun time the children had! It was the perfect length and the perfect presentation. He is able to teach and entertain and reinforce the lessons that my class has been learning and what they are trying to teach others about.”

THE GREEN TEAM is always excited to hear about Ms. Korpita’s GREEN TEAM and their accomplishments. Thank you for all you do!

Annie L. Sargent School, North Andover, MA Jeanne Caron & Lisa Conti, Grade K-5 teachers

Annie L Sargent’s GREEN TEAMS have been active for four years now and have been busy bringing the classroom outside to get closer to nature.

“We’re working on a whole nature’s outdoor classroom. We have a wooded area of study with boardwalks, nature trails, tables and benches. I had some former Eagle Scouts make everything for us. We also have fenced in wetlands with a dock for pond samples.  Lastly, I wanted to build a garden that was handicap accessible with raised beds, could be a hands-on teaching tool for all of the students in the building grades K-5 and ties into the butterfly unit of study. We have a flower garden and tried to plant flowers that would attract butterflies. We want to work with the cafe and school nurse with healthy eating so we’re planting, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, radishes, etc. We also wanted to create a Memory Garden for all of the former Sargent School Students who have passed away . . . Inside, we reduce electricity and water usage, reuse everything possible and recycle paper, plastic, Capri Suns, Nabisco wrappers, glue sticks and so much more . . . Our goal for our school is not only to go green but to be leading the way with science.”

Connecting environmental education with nature’s wonder is a powerful teaching tool. This is a wonderful resource for all the Annie L. Sargent School students!