Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Recycle Techno-Trash

I have been working with a great company called Cartridges for Kids for about 3 years now. They recycle the following items:
ink jet cartridges
laser jet cartridges
digital cameras
lap top computers
DVD movies
cell phones
PDA's/Palm Pilots
Video games
Video game consoles

Over the last 3 and a half years, we have earned over $3000 recycling items that would most likely end up in a landfill somewhere. Proceeds benefit the library and computer lab. More importantly, the program gives me an on-going opportunity to talk to students (and staff and parents) about the importance of taking care of the environment.

Did you know that it take 1000 years for a laserjet cartridge to decompose? and that a quart and a half of oil can be saved when one of these large cartridges is reycyled?

The program is easy, there's no counting or sorting required. Older students or a parent can help. One phone call and FedEx arrives to pick up you boxes free of charge.

We now also have several corporate sponsors who recycle directly from the workplace, with the proceeds credited to our school account.

You can find out more by visiting their website at or call 1-800-420-0235. Tell them Chris Crawford in Gorham, Maine recommended them. The are a great company to work with.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Any schools out there?

We have been making Planetfesto squares with our students for about 2 weeks. The kids absolutely love this project and are going home and showing their parents, who are also making squares. To see a slice of Maine, go to the Planetfesto website and type in Village School.

We're looking for other schools in other areas to accept a challenge of at least 80% participation of students and staff. We are also offering a challenge to our town through the local newspaper to help spread the word.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Zero Waste Class Parties

Our daughter's stunningly-excellent third grade teacher recently sent out a request to parents to help him become zero waste for class parties. I, like an idiot, said yes. An idiot because I knew the trail would lead me right to Target and Ikea, places I tend to avoid at all costs. Target had some great little melamine plates, fairly cheap metal forks and spoons, and acrylic juice glasses that should do nicely. I hated to go with plastic, but didn't see any way around it, and at least it will be used for years. (We did a similar thing with our picnic gear for our weekly neighborhood picnic, and now we are waste-free, which is a great feeling.) I am hard on the trail of some cheap cloth napkins to complete the set.The teacher and I worked out that whatever parents volunteer to host the party now also pop the dishes in the washer and return. (I bought a basket to put it all in to make it easier.) I volunteered to handle the napkins. Hopefully it will inspire other classrooms to do the same.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

View it like a movie

I've received several notes from teachers saying how much they are enjoying projecting the ribbon in their classrooms on large screens--like a movie. The kids get quite captivated by it. It's easy to do--just search by your school name and you will see a custom subset of the ribbon of just the pieces from your school.