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 for possible posting on THE GREEN TEAM website.



Kittredge Elementary School, North Andover
Students at Kittredge Elementary School in North Andover monitor the cafeteria sorting station.
Lt. Elmer J. McMahon School, Holyoke
Students carry right-sized buckets of food scraps directly to the compost bin outside.
Students monitor the composting process.

The cold weather doesn’t keep the students at Lt. Elmer J. McMahon School in Holyoke from composting year-round! FoodCorps Food Education Service Member, Eleyna Scarbro, shared these fantastic pictures of McMahon students in action. Composting is hands-on for students in Scarbro’s program, and they benefit from seeing each step of the process.


HEC Academy, Northampton
Making tamales with delicious, donated ingredients.
Dried basil, fresh from the school garden!
Hands-on learning across the curriculum.
Repurposed, reused, and ready to go!

“At the end of the 2022-23 school year, HEC students advocated to incorporate a weekly cooking class into the curriculum so that students could learn about nutrition and cooking skills and build recipes around vegetables from our school garden. Chef Mii Bishai, who did a wildly popular cooking demo with students last year, has continued to volunteer this year, creating amazing classes that have helped students become comfortable in the kitchen and take pride in their creations. HEC has built a partnership with Grow Food Northampton, which donates vegetables from local farms for students to use to create healthy, farm-based meals. One week, students made latkes with applesauce and sour cream, Middle Eastern green beans, and braised cabbage. Another week they made Mexican street corn, rice and beans, and vegetarian and meat-filled tamales from scratch. It’s been amazing to watch them try new foods and add nutrient-rich, unprocessed snacks to their diets.

To reduce our school food waste, we deliver leftover shelf-stable snacks to the Pedal People’s community pantry in Florence and take leftover school lunches to Pulaski Park, where Touch the Sky distributes them to food-insecure folks.

We also received a reuse, recycle grant from MassDEP and are in the process of ordering silverware, reusable cups for water fountains, and reusable lunch containers. Our director Sherry Smith has been working with the director of food services at Jackson Street School to change over from disposable lunch containers to reusable ones. I had students estimate how many disposable cups, forks, spoons, knives, plates, and lunch containers they go through every week and how many they think the school goes through, and then we’ll track how many fewer our school purchases this year compared to previous years to see how much of an impact we’re having. In another effort to reduce disposable products in our school, Barbara Smith from the BagShare Project worked with students over the summer to make reusable bags out of feed bags.

Students have continued volunteering at Manna Community Kitchen (once so far this year), preparing, serving, and cleaning up meals; and Village Closet (twice so far this year), giving away used clothes, shoes, toys, books, and baby supplies to people who need them.”

Amy Stamm, Teaching Coordinator, Collaborative for Educational Services, HEC Academy


Springfield Renaissance School, Springfield
Mr. Donovan’s 9th grade environmental science class at Springfield Renaissance School conducted a recycling audit before brainstorming waste reduction strategies.

“My students did a really cool audit of our recycling last week. We collected all breakfast and lunch trash/Styrofoam/plastic/paper and organized and sorted it. We found out that 90% of classroom recycling gets thrown out with the trash because it is often contaminated with food waste and liquids. We also have no recycling bins of any kind in the cafeteria, so all lunch materials go to the landfill. Here is the data we collected on Friday from one school day (again, all of this becomes trash every day in our current system). We have a group of students reaching out to Sodexo, our food service company, to see if we can get rid of Styrofoam trays, but in my class we’re focused on setting up a better recycling system.” – Mr. Donovan, Springfield Renaissance School

East Elementary School, Hingham
East Elementary School (GREEN TEAM 2023 Grand Prize Winners) created a haven for monarch butterflies in their school pollinator garden.

“Our school pollinator garden is officially open for visitors!” The girls of East Girl Scout Troop 77424 (kindergarten) and Troop 70766 (3rd grade), led by their leader and GREEN TEAM PTO liaison, Lindsay Newell, installed a lovely pollinator garden in the front of their school. They were delighted to turn what used to be a bare patch of mulch into a bountiful pollinator patch that will help support our local bees, butterflies, moths, and all sorts of other little visitors through all four seasons. The pollinator garden is also a certified Monarch Waystation through the Monarch Watch organization, meaning that we have carefully met all of the qualifications, including having several species of milkweed to support the monarch population, planting flowers that will provide nectar throughout the spring, summer, and fall, and also being sure to provide shelter for pollinators. More information about the waystation certification process can be found here, as well as a map of the network of monarch waystations around the world.

Bresnahan Elementary School, Newburyport
Newburyport second graders digging into their community learning garden.

With the help of the GREEN TEAM, Ms. Harding’s second grade class established a Green Team, brought composting to their classrooms and cafeteria and started a new recycling program that students manage and run during an after school club with their teacher. They also built a community learning garden and will use their compost from school food scraps to nourish their gardens! “Thank you for all of the amazing resources we were able to utilize!”

Ipswich Schools
Ipswich Middle & High School Cafeteria Sorting Stations.

Ipswich Schools are using sorting stations in their cafeterias to separate food scraps from the waste stream. Smaller versions of the stations, one for each elementary school, were built by an Ipswich teacher. They used grant funds to provide the color-coded buckets and the dollies that fit under the sorting station. The high school sizes are 55 gallons and the elementary school sizes are 20 gallons.

Leeds Elementary School, Northampton
Leeds Elementary fifth graders thank the community for their generous donations.

Changemakers at Leeds Elementary School in Northampton: Fifth Graders at Leeds Elementary collected winter wear and clothing to donate to those in need. All sizes of used and unused clothing were accepted. Winter wear went to the Ukrainian National Home. Students also collected personal care items for the Northampton Survival Center, as many of the Northampton Survival Center’s client families lack these basic necessities. The Survival Center gratefully accepts new, un-used, and individually packaged toiletries: deodorant, lotion, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes (adults and children), toilet paper, conditioner, powder, shaving cream, razors, diapers, lip balm, feminine hygiene items, and shampoo.



Vinson-Owen Elementary School, Winchester
Green Team students at Vinson-Owen Elementary School acting in their Anti-Idling Campaign video.

The Green Team at Vinson-Owen Elementary School in Winchester created an Anti-Idling Campaign Video Project complete with skits, costumes, scientific research, and catchy slogans. The students presented their video to the larger Vinson-Owen community on Earth Day, and continue to collect anti-idling pledges with the goal of making their school 100% idle-free.

Mount Alvernia Academy, Newton
Green Team students at Mount Alvernia Academy studying renewable energy.
The renewable energy village built by Green Team students at Mount Alvernia Academy.

Students at Mount Alvernia Academy in Newton learned about energy through their renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Students constructed and tested energy efficient houses, made an energy efficient village, and constructed and tested solar panel circuits and wind turbines. Students learned about renewable energy sources and how planning for the energy needs of a village takes place.


Foster Elementary School, Hingham
Green Team students recording the idling behavior at Foster Elementary School during drop-off and pick-up.
The brochure Green Team students created which was sent home with every Foster Elementary School student. The brochure included the GREEN TEAM no-idle pledge.
Foster Elementary School Custodian mounting the idling reduction signs.

The Foster Elementary School Green Team in Hingham ran a full school idling reduction campaign. Fifth grade students first observed the school community’s idling behavior and analyzed the data to produce a no-idle brochure with a family pledge that was sent home with each student. During each student’s library special hour, they learned about climate change and how reducing idling is one way they can help protect the earth. The Green Team students put up no-idling signs, and are hoping to see behavior change soon. They also plan to hold a Thank You event to express gratitude to drivers for not idling.

Martin Elementary School, Seekonk
Martin Elementary School Green Team students with their Tower Garden

Students at Martin Elementary School in Seekonk were given the opportunity to watch plants and vegetables grow from a Tower Garden, which was on display in the school lobby. Ms. Hopkins, a third grade teacher, received a grant for the Tower Garden from a local land trust group and taught her students nutrition and caring for plants as well as sustainable growing and its importance to our environment. Then her third grade students taught their classmates, and everyone enjoyed tasting what they grew with classroom salads. The class spread their knowledge not only with in-person talks and demonstrations, but also through videos shared with the school.


Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, Oak Bluffs

The Environmental Protection Agency recently wrote about how students at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School worked with Island Grown Schools to divert food waste. Students conducted a food waste audit to discover how much food was being throw in the trash. Upon finding that 63% of the trash was wasted food, the students took a series of waste reduction and diversion actions including the creation of a wasted food collection station. In 2019, Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Students and Island Grown schools’ staff diverted over 25,000 pounds of food waste from the landfill, sending it to be composted instead.

Western MA Youth Climate Summit

Mass Audubon recently published a recap of their Western MA Youth Climate Summit, co-hosted in October with partners from the Hitchcock Center for the Environment. Middle and high school students from six different Western Mass schools attended the summit. Youth leaders conducted all planning and organizing, according to the theme of “Creative Climate Action” and working towards the event’s goal: to formulate a community Climate Action Project (CAP). Throughout the school year, student teams will continue to develop and implement their CAPs.

The Kiddie Academy and Just A Start, Cambridge
Elaine Ho and Francesca Rutledge show off their compost containers at Kiddie Academy in Cambridge.
Just A Start School in Cambridge

Two Cambridge schools, The Kiddie Academy and Just A Start, are participating in the City’s new small business composting program, separating their food scraps to be collected twice a week by the city and taken for anaerobic digestion. 

The Kiddie Academy learning center in Cambridge is thrilled to be collecting food scraps from their onsite kitchen, as well as food scraps and non-recyclable paper from mealtimes from their students and staff!

Just A Start, a social services organization in Cambridge, has taught their students about why diverting waste is important. They will be collecting food scraps from their students and staff!



Sullivan Middle School, Worcester
Green Team students at Sullivan Middle School in Worcester tend to their outdoor garden.
Just A Start School in Cambridge

At Sullivan Middle School in Worcester, the pandemic required another set of modifications for the gardening class on top of the existing challenges of middle school learning. The students persevered and were able to continue their gardening classes through remote, hybrid, and in-person learning phases. The Sullivan Middle School Green Team shares indoor space with the school’s Hope Garden, which provides used clothing and access to a washer and dryer for students. Because of this space, the Green Team can grow year-round, and they have a repotting station for the houseplants in the school.

A composting activity was recently added to the outdoor school gardens portion of the class, and this past school year twelve 7th and 8th grade students participated in gardening and composting. Three of the students engaged via remote learning all year. The students were thankful to eventually be “facemask-to-facemask” to plant vegetable seedlings donated yearly by the Worcester Regional Environmental Council. The council also donated plants to attract pollinators. The Green Team is excited to see how their garden has grown after this rainy summer.

Stratton Elementary School, Arlington
Top: Arlington’s Stratton Elementary GREEN TEAM students planting their bulb garden in the fall. Bottom: GREEN TEAM students planting herbs, leafy greens, beans, peas, and pollinator plants in the school’s new raised beds.

The Stratton Elementary School GREEN TEAM in Arlington composted thousands of pounds of pumpkins in the fall and learned about the impact of carbon on the atmosphere. They held a school-wide pumpkin collection after Halloween and arranged for a compost company to pick up the pumpkins for composting. They also studied and explored ways to reduce carbon in the atmosphere like diverting organic waste and planting gardens. The school’s GREEN TEAM planted two gardens: one bulb garden and one for pollinator plants. The bulb garden replaced an old dirt patch, and the pollinator garden is in a new raised bed. The students and families are taking turns watering the gardens weekly and harvesting what’s ready to eat, as well as learning about the cycle of lunch food scraps creating compost and healthy soil for their gardens.

Blackstone Elementary School, Boston

Boston’s Blackstone Elementary School Green Team cared for, studied in, and ate produce from their garden this year. “Students being attentive to a growth process was essential to their well-being,” reported theatre teacher Julia Perlowski “Being indoors most of the time, students missed opportunities to engage with nature.” Teachers from different subjects tied learning from the garden into the core curriculum. For instance, the school’s Health and Wellness teacher created online cooking shows based on the produce grown in the garden. Students and their families also cooked at home using food from the garden, which allowed them to experience the whole process of garden to table while improving family engagement in student learning. Physical education teacher Nicolette McMaster led students in revitalizing an indoor greenhouse to improve wellness in their school. ‘Coach Mac’ reported, “This has been students’ favorite part of class and even school. It has given in-person learners something to look forward to in school while developing and maintaining healthy lifestyles.”

In addition to the garden activities, the lead custodian at Blackstone headed a school-wide recycling program carried out by students in grades 2 through 5. The 5th graders mentored 2nd graders about the recycling program, and in the process of teaching, formed better recycling habits themselves. The garden and recycling initiatives brought the whole community together—teachers, staff, students, and families.

Memorial Middle School, Hull
Memorial Middle School’s collage of the Green Team’s virtual collaboration, which made their bottle and can drive a success.

The Memorial Middle School Green Team in Hull organized a bottle and can collection drive to raise money for a local animal shelter. The students’ passion for recycling and reducing waste, coupled with their care and concern for animal welfare, sparked this fundraising project. Careful planning was conducted through weekly virtual meetings, messaging through Google Classroom, email correspondence, and sharing ideas on Google Jamboard. The students collected and donated more than 1,100 returnable bottles and cans to Seaside Animal Rescue. The success of the bottle and can drive, along with the extra challenge of maintaining COVID-19 safety precautions, was a great source of pride for the students.

Marigold Montessori School Community Preschool, Haverhill
Students at Marigold Montessori tend to their garden using compost they made.

The Marigold Montessori School Community Preschool Green Team in Haverhill has been busy with their compost program and garden. The students care for their inside plants and the garden outside daily. They planted cucumbers, beans, peas, and tomatoes in the garden beds, and are growing them using compost from their compost bin and water from their rain barrel. These vegetables supplement their classroom snacks, and classroom food scraps are added to the compost each day, replenishing it throughout the winter. This spring, students discovered a “mystery sprout” in one of the beds, observed its growth, and were surprised with delicious melons. The students planted spring bulbs in the fall, and when they are done blooming this spring they will dig them up again to replant in the fall. Students have ongoing conversations about caring for the earth and observing the natural environment.



Abington Middle School, Abington
Abington Middle School students’ Earth Week video.

Last spring, The Green Team at Abington Middle School learned about Earth Day and how to care for the environment. Students completed projects, artwork, and environmental activities during Earth Week. Here is their Earth Week video, showcasing student projects focused on sustainability and the environment.


Hingham Middle School, Hingham
Last year, students at Hingham Middle School emptied food scraps into the compost bin after collecting the scraps during lunch.

In 2016, The Green Team at Hingham Middle School was started by two science teachers to promote green practices in the school and community. Over the years, the school’s Green Team program has grown tremendously. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, students were trained as “Compost Crusaders” to manage the food waste composting program. The finished compost was used in the school garden to help grow plants and herbs. These students will be leaders when they get to Hingham High School, which also has a student-run cafeteria composting program!

In collaboration with the Hingham Cleaner Greener Committee, the Hingham Middle School Green Team hosted a “Plastic Ocean Night” to spread awareness about the Plastic Bag Ban. The Team also participated in Hingham Harbor Media episodes of “How to Get a Green Thumb” garden show to promote home gardens on the local news channel.



North Andover Middle School, North Andover
Students at North Andover Middle School created an instructional video about their new recycling and food waste diversion program.

North Andover Middle School significantly decreased the amount of trash they were generating each week after implementing a recycling and food waste diversion program last school year. In the cafeteria, students separated the contents of their waste into corresponding bins to collect food to donate, liquids, cans and bottles, trash, food scraps for compost, and serving trays. Green Team students worked together on an instructional video to roll out the program and teach their fellow classmates which items go in each bin.



South Elementary School, Hingham
Anne Morin demonstrates to South Elementary School’s 5th grade Green Team how a balloon filled with gas heats up and pops quicker than a balloon filled with water.

In February of 2020, Hingham’s South Elementary School 5th grade Green Team was lucky to have local environmentalist Anne Morin of Go Green Hingham present on the warming of the oceans and its impact on sea life. Anne demonstrated how oceans are heating up by using balloons: students were able to see that when filled with gas, the balloon quickly heated up and popped. When a balloon was filled with water, the water absorbed the heat and took almost a full minute longer to pop. Anne explained that this is what is happening to the water in our oceans, and that the warmer water impacts the lifecycles of many sea creatures.

The Advent School, Boston
Still from “Can’t Stop Recycling” video, made by teachers at The Advent School.

Teachers at The Advent School who are part of the sustainability committee created a video with original lyrics called “Can’t Stop Recycling” to share with students and their parents for Earth Day 2020. This video shows a variety of ways that teachers and students practiced sustainable actions while learning remotely, including home composting and saving water.

Pvt. Albert E. Thomson Elementary School, North Andover
Students at Pvt. Albert E. Thomson Elementary School volunteer to monitor waste stations during lunchtime.

Students in all grade levels at the Pvt. Albert E. Thomson Elementary School in North Andover were actively involved in the recycling and composting program during lunchtime last school year. Each week, new student volunteers monitored the waste stations to help their classmates separate items into the correct bins. The program became so successful as the year went on that students were frequently asking if they could be a monitor! Until the school closed in-person operations last spring, they were on track to have almost every student be a lunchtime waste station monitor.

Lt. Job Lane Elementary School, Bedford
A recycled creature created by students at Lt. Job Lane Elementary School.

Students at Lt. Job Lane Elementary School in Bedford used their creativity to educate their peers about reducing waste. In an event they called a “Trashin’ Show”, students designed outfits out of trash to bring attention to the problems with excessive waste. By reusing trash items, the students promoted an innovative way of turning trash into art. The show was very successful and some teachers plan to join as designers and models next year. The students also created creatures for Recycled Creature Day. Each creature was made entirely from recycled materials.


The Bancroft School, Worcester
The Bancroft School Green Team “Eco Leaders” present their recycling and composting plans with school administration, teachers, and fellow students.

In Worcester, The Bancroft School’s Green Team “Eco Leaders” have been working on establishing a school composting program. Their work on this project started when students from the upper school visited Iceland on a class trip in 2018 and learned about the intersection of Icelandic culture and sustainable living practices and technology. Over the last two years, the students developed plans with their school administration and student council to create a food collection and composting program. This school year they purchased the composting equipment, organized a food waste collection schedule, and started composting at the school. Before schools closed in March, the Eco Leaders planned to use the compost in their school gardens and sell any surplus at school fundraisers. They strive for a worthy goal of shifting the social habits of their school community from throwing lots of food out, to taking less food, and composting what can be composted.

Mount Alvernia Academy, Newton
Mount Alvernia Academy Green Team student shares a picture of the seeds they planted for Earth Day.

Mount Alvernia Academy’s Green Team in Newton has been studying weather during this time of remote learning. They made simulations of the water cycle in plastic baggies, took pictures and identified clouds, and made and tested weather vanes. One student even visited a weather station atop The Blue Hills State Park in Norfolk County. Students have also been learning about climate change by conducting experiments to understand the impacts of sea level rise. For Earth Day, students participated in the City Nature Challenge by taking pictures of wild things, planting seeds, and baking Earth Day Cookies!

In addition to all of the great work by the students, the school’s Green Team Teacher, Maria Lyons, was awarded a lifetime achievement award by Project Green Schools this year. Congratulations, Maria!


Oak Ridge School, Sandwich
A home kitchen scrap garden from a 3rd grader from Oak Ridge School.

For Earth Day this year, Oak Ridge School celebrated by competing in a virtual Earth Week Challenge! Students were given a list of ideas for helping the planet by reducing, reusing, recycling, being creative, and enjoying nature at home. The students chose two of the following challenges to complete: students started kitchen scrap gardens, created home compost programs, picked up litter, took shorter showers, and created arts and crafts from trash.


Hilltown Community Charter School, Easthampton
Hilltown Community Charter’s Climate Action Team interviews actor Rainn Wilson.

Students from the Hilltown Community Charter School Green Team have started a blog and newsletter to share information about climate change and empower their fellow students to take action. In their video series ‘Crafts for the Climate’ they teach students at home how to turn trash into art. This month, they interviewed actor Rainn Wilson (of The Office) about his work as an activist and his perspectives on climate change.


Rockport Public School, Rockport
Students from Rockport Pubic School sell produce from The Greenhouse Project at their local farmers market.

Students from Rockport Public School’s Green Team won The President’s Environmental Youth Award for The Greenhouse Project. This group of sixth through twelfth graders fundraised for and constructed a greenhouse with the help of their community members. Now students use the structure to learn how to plan a garden, plant vegetables, maintain plants, and harvest produce, all while using sustainable practices. The produce from the greenhouse is prepared for school lunches during the school year and, over the summer, the students sell produce and share environmental resources to educate the community at local farmers markets.

Andover High School, Andover
Students at Andover High School  collect water samples of the Shawsheen River.

Melanie Cutler of Andover High School’s Green Team won The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators for her work as an environmental educator over the past 22 years. Her accomplishments include improving recycling and composting efforts at nine schools, banning plastic bags and Styrofoam in their community, and working with her students to purchase renewable energy for her school. This fall, Ms. Cutler worked with her students to document the biodiversity of the area around a dam removal site on the Shawsheen River.

James Otis Elementary School, East Boston
Students at James Otis Elementary School in East Boston collect and transport recycling from individual classrooms to the large bin outside.

Students at James Otis Elementary School in East Boston are taking responsibility for the school’s new recycling program. In addition to collecting recycling from other classrooms with minimal supervision, the students have been working with their school community to teach them what materials should and should not be recycled. To further encourage recycling in the school, the fifth graders worked with their school principal to develop a raffle ticket program, which rewards classes who have correctly sorted materials in their bins with prizes!

Thomson Elementary School, Kittredge Elementary School, and North Andover Middle School, North Andover
Green Team students from Thomson Elementary School in North Andover separating food waste in their cafeteria.

Thomson Elementary School, Kittredge Elementary School, and North Andover Middle School in North Andover started successful cafeteria composting programs with the aid of a MassDEP Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP) Grant. In 2019, North Andover received the MassDEP’s SMRP Grant in the amount of $30,000 to be distributed over the next 3 years. With this funding, the schools initiated composting programs with a local organics hauler. Students source separate their food waste in the cafeteria; this food waste is then transported by the custodial staff to an outdoor compost bin, where it is picked up by a local hauler that turns it into compost. The program has seen great success so far, as well as a reduction of trash going out, and the schools have been able to incorporate the program into the district’s R.A.I.S.E. (Respect, Achievement, Inclusion, Service, Empathy) initiative.

Lawrence Public Schools, Lawrence, Mary Toomey, Assistant Superintendent
Students from Lawrence Public Schools toured the Boston CORe facility, experiencing first-hand how the facility processes over 50 tons of food waste per day into an organic slurry fit for co-digestion.

Green Team students from Lawrence Public Schools’ Arlington Middle School, Parthum Middle School, UP Academy Leonard, Wetherbee School, and Oliver Partnership School visited the Waste Management Boston CORe facility and the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District’s Anaerobic Digestor. The students learned how the CORe facility converts food waste material into a slurry that is used for co-digestion in the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District’s Anaerobic Digestor (AD). The AD technology is able to generate renewable green energy by processing the organic slurry product.

If your school is interested in setting up a tour of these facilities, contact the Waste Management – Boston CORe office at (617) 483-5990 and Greater Lawrence Sanitary District at (978) 685-1612.

Weymouth Public School, Weymouth, MA

Since 2006, Weymouth Public Schools have partnered with Bay State Textiles’ School Box Program. Bay State Textiles installed textile bins at all of Weymouth’s schools, and pays $100/ton for collected materials. As of last month, the resulting partnership had diverted 481 tons of useful material, and earned Weymouth Public Schools nearly $50,000. Additionally, it has kept these materials out of the trash, saving the Town another $50,000 in disposal costs.
Weymouth Public Schools launched their textile recycling program as a contest between the schools. The district engaged various community businesses and institutions to sponsor a $500 bonus award to the top performing school based on student ratio. The school administration has continuously publicized the program through the Weymouth Public Schools website, Weymouth Pride Newsletter, banners, flyers at schools and community partners locations, public cable “information scrolls”, press releases, and phone calls. Read more about the implementation of this program in the Weymouth Public Schools Textile Recycling Case Study published by the MassDEP.

Winsor School, Boston, Anjali Palepu and Salma Ibrahim, Students
Anjali Palepu and Salma Ibrahim, students at the Winsor School in Boston, created Pinpoint Donation to better connect donors of household goods with charities in the Boston area.

Pinpoint Donation, a new website with a database of over 100 charities in the Boston area that accept household goods, was started by two students at the Winsor School in Boston. As a school project, Anjali Palepu and Salma Ibrahim wanted to address the mismatch between what donors want to offer and what charities need. Donors often do not know where to donate their goods, and organizations don’t want to receive goods that they can’t redistribute. Pinpoint Donation is designed to address this disconnect by creating a centralized list of organizations accepting household donations and what exactly they are currently taking in.

Additionally, the Pinpoint Donation Facebook Group gives charities an easy way to communicate their current needs to a community of donors. Charities or individuals helping needy families can post what they are looking for, and donors can respond with photos to make sure the item is suitable. Donors can also post items that they would like to give away and charities can respond if they need that item, or other group members can provide advice on where to donate.

Hingham High School, Hingham, Rick Swanson, Principal
Hingham High School students sorting recyclables and organics from their waste stream

Hingham High School successfully incorporates food waste reduction, recycling, and sustainability practices into their school operations and educational programs. Click on the image above to watch the case study video of how the school works with THE GREEN TEAM to implement these programs.

Thompson Elementary School, Arlington, Elizabeth Rocco, Parent Leader
Thompson Elementary School students recording an episode of their environmental podcast.

Thompson Elementary School’s Green Team organized a series of classroom ‘Podcast for the Planet’ workshops where the students brainstormed, researched, wrote scripts, recorded, and edited podcasts. The students produced podcast episodes on a variety of environmental concerns related to clean water. All of the podcasts can be found on the Arlington Community Media, Inc.’s Green Team webpage. Since 2016, Thompson students have been using art, editorials, and environmental action to speak out about the harms of plastic and Styrofoam pollution.

Smith Vocational Technical High School, Northampton, Madge Evers, Teacher
A Smith Vocational Technical High School student sorting paper waste to be included in the compost collection bin.

Last school year, Smith Vocational Technical High School in Northampton started composting food and paper waste from both their cafeteria and culinary arts kitchen, where student chefs prepare food for the school’s restaurant. The school also established an onsite compost plant where all of the organic materials are transported and composted. Throughout the course of the year, over five tons of organic materials were diverted from the landfill!


Mason-Rice Elementary School, Newton, Wendy Sheu & Heather Friedman, PTO Volunteers
Mason-Rice Elementary School’s Green Team sharing tips on how to practice the 3 Rs – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

Mason-Rice Elementary School’s Green Team created this informative recycling video educating their classmates about the 3 Rs – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, as well as what items can and cannot be recycled at their school. The video was shown at a school-wide assembly, where the students also led a “Recycle Right – Walking Relay Race” for their classmates to further learn about proper recycling. Additionally, the students helped conduct a survey of the school’s recycling equipment, which was used to assess whether they needed to update their existing system with the no-cost recycling equipment provided by the GREEN TEAM. The Mason-Rice Green Team Kids blog provides a glimpse into all of the wonderful environmental projects the students accomplished this year. Click above to watch the video yourself!

Quabbin Regional High School, Barre, Elicia Andrews, Coach
Quabbin Regional High School Students demonstrating which materials should be included in the compost bin.

Students from Quabbin Regional High School participated in this year’s Massachusetts Envirothon, which had a theme of “Abundant, Affordable, and Healthy Food” for 2019. The students explored this topic by learning about the benefits of composting for soil health. They restarted their school composting program and educated their classmates on which materials should be included in the compost bin. The students earned an Envirothon Community Award for their work turning their research into a community action project.

The recent press release on the results of the 2019 Massachusetts Envirothon provides a full recap of this year’s competition, including a list of this year’s top scoring teams. Congratulations to the students of Quabbin Regional High School, as well as all of the participants of the Envirothon!

Memorial Middle School, Hull, Heather Weber, Teacher
Hull Memorial Middle School students showing off their reusable grocery bags during their presentation on banning single-use plastic bags.

Students at Hull Memorial Middle School have been working hard to spread the word about source reduction of plastic and organic waste. The GREEN TEAM students established a share table program in their school cafeteria, which involved creating a poster explaining the importance of not wasting food and how the share table can help reduce the amount of organic waste being discarded. They are also advocating for the establishment of a single-use plastic bag ban in the town of Hull. The students handed out informational flyers at a central location in town about the importance of a single-use plastic bag ban.

Ipswich Middle-High School, Ipswich, Amy Farr Borgman and Nicole Whitten, Mentors
Ipswich Middle-High School students working together with community elders on the ‘Generation Growers’ public garden.

Congratulations to Ipswich Middle-High School for winning the prestigious US EPA’s Region 1 President’s Environmental Youth Award! Ipswich’s Green Team created a shared public fruit and vegetable garden with a special focus: to bridge generations and lifestyles. By encouraging Ipswich citizens to work together on the challenges and rewards of a common garden, the Ipswich Green Team is growing vital relationships between human beings and nature, helping all of us to be better stewards of our magical, but fragile, natural world. Hope in action, and action in hope!

Elizabeth Carter Brooks School, New Bedford, Kelly Keaton, Teacher
Elizabeth Carter Brooks School students wrote letters to their Mayor promoting recycling.

GREEN TEAM students at the Elizabeth Carter Brooks School in New Bedford acted upon the recycling lessons they learned in class by writing letters to their Mayor. The students shared their support for recycling and described why littering is harmful for the environment. Great work in spreading the message about the importance of recycling!

Arlington Public School District, Arlington
Ottoson Middle School student lunch leaders sorting recyclables, compostables, and trash in their cafeteria.

The Arlington Public School District Green Teams are taking the lead on environmental education and action in their community. There is tremendous progress being made throughout the district to keep recyclables out of the trash stream, divert food waste in the cafeteria, and promote environmental stewardship. All 10 Arlington Public Schools are separating food waste from their trash and using compostable trays, which has resulted in a 10 percent reduction in waste produced by the schools. For example, at Ottoson Middle School a group of dedicated students are serving as peer leaders every day in the cafeteria, helping sort waste into three main categories: recycling, compostables, and trash. The student leaders earn a coupon for a free snack bar item after every three days of volunteering.

Many other environmental projects are taking place in Arlington Schools beyond the cafeteria. Thompson Elementary School students created musical instruments out of reusable materials, Stratton Elementary School collected over 330 pounds of plastic film through the Trex Plastic Film Recycling Challenge, and students throughout the town encouraging their community to recycle and compost through artwork, podcasts, and presentations. Textile recycling is also going strong at eight participating schools, with over 100,000 pounds of textiles collected by Bay State Textiles for reuse or recycling since 2017. This amazing effort has netted the district over $5,000.

St. Patrick School, Lowell, Margie O’Donnell, Teacher
Students from the St. Patrick School created artistic animal puppets from upcycled materials.

GREEN TEAM students from the St. Patrick School in Lowell created animal puppets from items that would have otherwise gone to the trash. What a great way to repurpose existing materials into works of art!

Albert S. Woodward Memorial School, Southborough, Mary Ellen Duggan, Teacher
Students from the Albert S. Woodward Memorial School created a video
sharing the results of their Waste Audit

Students from the Albert S. Woodward Memorial School in Southborough performed an audit of their school’s waste. The students examined each trash bin and removed all recyclables that were mistakenly discarded in the trash. To help educate their peers on which items are recyclable, the students created a video sharing the results of the audit. The video was a hit on the school’s morning broadcast. Nice work GREEN TEAM!

Andover Public Schools, Andover, MA, Green Schools Andover
Green Schools Andover volunteers separating compostable and recyclable materials in the school cafeteria.

Green Schools Andover, a group of local advocates that work with Andover Public Schools to educate students on school lunch waste and food recovery, was honored with an EPA Food Recovery Challenge National Award. The group introduced share tables to school cafeterias, which encourages students to share wholesome food that would otherwise be thrown away. The group also began diverting food waste to composting. In 2017, ten Andover Public schools diverted to compost 217 tons of food waste and donated 9 tons of food to local non-profits.

Hawlemont Regional Elementary School, Charlemont, MA, Jennifer Sinistore, Teacher
A student at Hawlemont Regional Elementary School helping to recycle paper and cardboard

Students at the Hawlemont Regional Elementary School in Charlemont have been busy making the planet less polluted with a number of environmental activities, including hands-on projects, educational field trips, events, and fundraisers. The school implemented their waste diversion program four years ago and intentionally engages students in all aspects of its recycling and composting efforts. Each classroom weighs their trash weekly, and tracks progress towards waste reduction goals by graphing the data over time. Through these activities, students are able to apply the math concepts they are learning in the classroom to real world data. At the end of the year, classrooms that reduce their trash by the greatest amount win a special award.

Additionally, students in the 5th and 6th grade oversee the composting program at the school, helping younger students source separate recycling and food waste in their cafeteria. The food scraps are composted on-site and provide fertility to a large school garden. Student volunteers also work closely with the custodial staff to collect all of the school’s recycling, break down cardboard boxes to fit in their recycling dumpster, and clean milk cartons for reuse in creative art projects. These are just a handful of the efforts Hawlemont students are doing to reduce, reuse, recycle, and upcycle!

John A. Bishop Elementary School, Arlington, MA Jennifer Davidson, Parent Volunteer
John A. Bishop Elementary School students
sharing recycling tips

GREEN TEAM students at the John A. Bishop Elementary School in Arlington created an instructional video sharing recycling tips. The students do a wonderful job demonstrating how their school uses collection bins for recyclables, used textiles, and food scraps. The pollinator garden and recycled material art projects are particularly impressive!

Centerville Elementary School, Beverly, MA Nikki Rupu, Teacher
Centerville Elementary School Students selling basil plants 
in repurposed milk cartons.

Fourth Grade students at Centerville Elementary School in Beverly repurposed milk cartons into planting pots. Students also planted basil in the repurposed cartons and sold them at the school’s farm stand. Proceeds from the plant sale went to fund student environmental projects for the new school year.

Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical High School, New Bedford, MA Christopher Pires, Teacher 
Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical School students
in their rain and butterfly garden.

Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical School in New Bedford used THE GREEN TEAM prize they won last year (a garden center gift card) to enhance their rain and butterfly garden with a diverse array of indigenous plants. They also purchased peat moss and perlite to add to their school-made compost, and seeds to germinate for their annual plant sale. Proceeds from the plant sale help fund student environmental projects and green career licensure exams.


Whitin Elementary School, Uxbridge, MA Mary Ellen Jansson, Teacher
Students at Whitin Elementary School
established a share table in their cafeteria.

Whitin Elementary School in Uxbridge had a very busy year! They established a share table in their cafeteria, reducing food waste. Additionally, they requested GREEN TEAM recycling bins and wheeled carts for their classrooms and common spaces to help increase recycling. They also showed off their arts and crafts skills by using school-made compost to create recycled chia pets, and building a maker space in the school library that uses recycled materials. What a successful year!

Franklin County Solid Waste Management District, Franklin County, MA Amy Donovan, Program Director

Amy Donovan shared some exciting news about school composting in Franklin County:

  “The Franklin County Solid Waste Management District has reached a milestone: twenty-five public schools in the county, including seven high schools, divert all food and paper waste from cafeterias and kitchens into compost programs. Students at all of these schools have been taught to separate trash and recyclables from leftover food and paper waste, in many cases reducing trash from cafeterias and kitchens by 80%!
Schools generate a significant amount of food waste. Kids can easily connect with the compost life cycle and starting kids young is a way to change behavior. I’ve seen a real cultural shift in these schools; students are learning that food waste is too good to waste.
Thank you to the schools, the staff, faculty, students, Martin’s Farm, Triple T Trucking, Clear View Composting, Bear Path Farm, MassDEP, Greenfield DPW, Greening Greenfield, Franklin County Solid Waste District, anyone I have missed, and the Franklin County community for supporting these efforts!”
 -Amy Donovan
Lenox Memorial Middle and High School Evergreen Club, Lenox, MA, Nina Marks, Teacher

Nina Marks shared some recent highlights from the Evergreen Club:

  “After years of planning, problem solving and building support, the school’s environmental club, Evergreen has successfully launched a switch to metal silverware for all school lunches. We will begin using metal silverware in the cafeteria on April 23, in honor of Earth Day. It has been a school-wide effort, involving the Superintendent, LMMHS administration, cafeteria and custodial staff, faculty, and students– especially those in Evergreen who networked with Environmental Science and Graphic Arts classes, the Student Council, National Honors Society and all grade levels to build consensus and a sense of urgency to reduce our campus’ waste stream. We are really proud of our achievement this year.” -Nina Marks
John A. Bishop Elementary School, Arlington, MA, Jennifer Davidson-Jardeleza, Parent Volunteer
Students and staff at John A. Bishop Elementary enjoyed
a recycling and conservation magic show with Peter O’Malley.

The Green Team at John A. Bishop Elementary School in Arlington worked hard this year, and earned a recycling and conservation magic show performed by Peter O’Malley from THE GREEN TEAM. The students and staff loved the show!

Captain Samuel Brown Elementary School, Peabody, MA, Diane Bugler, Teacher
Students from Captain Samuel Brown School at
the 2018 Peabody GreenFest.

At Captain Samuel Brown Elementary School in Peabody, students created posters for the annual Peabody GreenFest, collected textiles, maintained a school garden and composting system, and worked on environmental community service projects. What a busy year!

Brookside Elementary School, Dracut, MA, Denise Porcello, Teacher
Brookside Elementary School students pose with their
impressive ball of tin foil collected from lunches.

This year, students at Brookside Elementary School in Dracut increased lunchtime recycling and began collecting tin foil from lunches into a giant ball to raise awareness of recycling. As a result of this and their other activities, recycling has now become second nature!

Loker Elementary School, Wayland, MA, Anne Johnson, Teacher
Members of the Green Thumb Team at Loker Elementary School weed the school garden and apply compost made at the school in preparation for the planting of seedlings.

Members of the Green Thumb Team at Loker Elementary School in Wayland led a ceremony for the planting of a tree donated by the graduating fifth grade class in honor of Arbor Day. They also used school-made compost to plant seedlings in their school garden!

Brackett Elementary School, Arlington, MA, Rachel Oliveri, Teacher
Brackett Elementary School students created this amazing art project about the valuable role trees play in ecosystems.

Students at Brackett Elementary School in Arlington participated in an energy use scavenger hunt and toured the school’s boiler room with the town’s energy manager as they learned about energy savings. They also held a waste-free day and a green film festival, planted a pollinator garden, and collected more than 4,225 pounds of textiles. In addition, they learned about the important role trees play in ecosystems and created an amazing tree art project that was displayed at Arlington Town Hall!

John A. Bishop Elementary School, Arlington, MA, Jennifer Davidson-Jardeleza, Teacher
Students at John A. Bishop Elementary School plant their pollinator garden.

The students at John A. Bishop Elementary School in Arlington learned about recycling best practices from the Arlington recycling coordinator and made posters to hang around the school to share their knowledge. They also planted a pollinator garden and educated the community about the importance of pollinator species.

Arlington Middle School and Robert Frost Middle School, Lawrence, MA, Paul Flanigan, Teacher
Students from Arlington Middle School and Robert Frost Middle School are proud of their work in cleaning up a park in town.

On Earth Day, students from Arlington Middle School and Robert Frost Middle School in Lawrence participated in cleaning up a city park as part of Groundwork Lawrence and Comcast Cares Day. This was their first year as part of THE GREEN TEAM and they look forward to continuing and expanding their efforts next year!

Oakmont Regional High School, Ashburnham, MA, Alana Archangelo, Teacher
Oakmont Regional High School students created a plastic pollution fishing game to raise awareness during Green Week. Photo provided by Alana Archangelo.

Students at Oakmont Regional High School in Ashburnham have been busy all school year with their school-wide recycling program, participating in the Lexus Eco Challenge, and increasing environmental awareness during the school’s Green Week.

West Brookfield Elementary School, West Brookfield, MA, Karen Oliveira, Teacher
Students at West Brookfield Elementary School experimented with wind-powered model water pumps and worked to raise awareness surrounding everyday water usage.
Photo provided by Karen Oliveira.

Students at West Brookfield Elementary School recently created windmills to power model water pumps. Inspired by the book A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, students in the school’s Green Team calculated their personal daily water usage and created a display of plastic water jugs to raise awareness about water access and conservation.

Thompson Elementary School, Arlington, MA, Elizabeth Rocco, PTA/Parent Volunteer
Thompson Elementary School Students submitted “trashformation” ideas around the theme of Ecosystem Superheroes. Photo provided by Elizabeth Rocco.

Thompson Elementary School in Arlington recently hosted a school-wide Science Explo and participated in the Town of Arlington’s 2018 EcoFest. The school focused on different types of natural decomposers including soil bacteria, gut bacteria, tree fungi and lichen, and composting with red wiggler worms. Fourth grade students also transformed trash and compost into art, education, and collective action. Several highly-motivated students submitted essays to the school’s director of food service about the benefits of switching to compostable and re-usable straws and cafeteria trays.

Norwood Montessori School, Norwood, MA, Tamiko Porter, Teacher
Norwood Montessori School students assemble solar-powered vechicles

At Norwood Montessori School in Norwood, students are busy setting up their recycling and composting equipment and experimenting with solar-powered vehicles.

Agawam Junior High School, Feeding Hills, MA, Sandee Johnson, Teacher
Students at Agawam Junior High School construct greenhouses.

Agawam Junior High School students in Feeding Hills are working together to construct new greenhouses for planting a hydroponic garden.

Cambridge Public Schools, Cambridge, MA
Photos provided by Meryl Brott, Cambridge Department of Public Works
Recycling Program Manager.

Cambridge Public Schools established an easy-to-follow five-step cafeteria separation system for students with clear signage and instructions. The school district also replaced its styrofoam lunch trays with compostable paper trays.

Arlington Public Schools, Arlington, MA
Arlington Public Schools developed clear and concise signage to help students sort recyclables, compostable materials, and trash.

The Town of Arlington received a Sustainable Materials Recovery Program Municipal Grant from the MassDEP to improve recycling and food waste diversion in their schools. As a result, five elementary schools in the Arlington Public Schools district are now diverting organics from their kitchens and cafeterias. Each bin is organized and labeled to instruct students how to pour liquids, recycle empty containers, separate organics, and dispose of the remainder as trash.

Mt. Alvernia Academy, Chestnut Hill, MA, Maria Lyons, Teacher
Students at Mt. Alvernia Academy in Chestnut Hill are braving the cold to recycling this winter.

Students at Mt. Alvernia Academy in Chestnut Hill proudly recycle using their new bins from THE GREEN TEAM. They cleverly labeled each recycling bin with their classroom name and number so they don’t go missing.

Four Corners Elementary School and Federal Street Elementary School, Greenfield, MA
Greenfield Schools elementary students learn about preventing waste in the cafeteria from UMass Amherst volunteers and Amy Donovan, Program Director for the Franklin County Solid
Waste Management District

Last spring, students from the University of Massachusetts Amherst volunteered with Four Corners Elementary School and Federal Street Elementary School in Greenfield as part of their Sustainability Leadership Project. UMass volunteers helped the elementary students learn how to sort their trash, recycling, and compostable items into the appropriate bins to reduce waste sent to landfills. Check out the excellent video showcasing this beneficial partnership between Greenfield Schools and UMass Amherst.

Centerville Elementary School, Beverly, MA, Nikki Rupu, Teacher
Centerville Elementary STEAM Integrator Nikki Rupu helps students assemble their new GREEN TEAM compost bin.

At Centerville Elementary School in Beverly, second graders are using their new composter from THE GREEN TEAM to learn the difference between bio-degradable and non-biodegradable materials. Students have been collecting fruit and vegetable scraps from the cafeteria and raking leaves from the school yard to add to the bin.

STEM Middle Academy, Springfield, MA, Richard Haggerty, Teacher
Students at STEM Middle Academy in Springfield are working hard to reduce the amount of waste that travels to landfills

Students at STEM Middle Academy in Springfield are motivated to make the planet cleaner, greener, and less polluted for the next generation. The student-led STEM Green Team is empowered by faculty volunteers to reduce waste, prevent hunger, and teach others how going green can benefit our communities and society. They established a goal of consistently diverting 8 pounds of compostable material for every 1 pound of trash generated, which they accomplish by donating surplus food to a local homeless shelter and composting food scraps.

Centerville Elementary School, Beverly, MA, Nikki Rupu, Teacher
Centerville fifth graders used recycling to create eco couture

Over the last two years, Centerville Elementary students have been letting their creativity fly while learning about a variety of important environmental topics. In addition to the Eco Couture, Centerville students created videos about aquaponics and hydroponics, the fifth grade’s edible classroom, and a climate change mural created by the fourth graders.

Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School, Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA, Keith Gray, Teacher
Students in Keith Gray’s class assemble compost bins.
Amesbury Elementary School, Amesbury, MA, Cara Ripley, Teacher
A fourth grader recycling paper in Cara Ripley’s classroom at Amesbury Elementary School

By making recycling an automatic part of their school lives at Amesbury Elementary School, the hope is that the students’ green behaviors will translate to their lives at home and in their community.

Arlington Middle School, Lawrence, MA, David Lemay, Teacher
Arlington Middle School Recycling Police are on the job!

The Arlington Middle School ActiGators in Lawrence remind us of proper ways to recycle through their creative and enthusiastic team of Recycling Police.


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.


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

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.

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.


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.

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.

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 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.


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.


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!


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!


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!