Waste Less Living

Monthly Archives: December 2012

Edible Schoolyards!

Waste Less Living’s Green School Program is a great supplement to existing education-based gardening ambitions and endeavors. And we enjoy showcasing sustainable, interactive learning programs like The Edible Schoolyard, founded by Alice Waters.

 “What we are calling for is a revolution in public education – the Delicious Revolution. — Alice Waters”

 It all began once upon a time when…

“Neil Smith, then Principal of Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School contacted Alice, with the acre of blighted land on the school’s grounds firmly in mind. He wanted her to see the school and perhaps, find a way to help. It was clear to Alice; she wanted to start a garden and then, build a teaching kitchen. They could become tools for enriching the curriculum and life of the school community. Neil and Alice met with the faculty and the idea slowly began to take form. Teachers Phoebe Tanner and Beth Sonnenberg envisaged teaching fractions in the kitchen as a way of making math interactive, and growing heirloom grains in the garden as a way of teaching early civilizations.”

“Right there, in the middle of every school day, lies time and energy already devoted to the feeding of children.  We have the power to turn that daily school lunch from an afterthought into a joyous education, a way of caring for out health, our environment and our community.  – Alice Waters”

“The Edible Schoolyard curriculum is fully integrated into the school day and teaches students how their choices about food affect their health, the environment and their communities. (Edible Schoolyard Berkeley)” Read more…

Waste Less Living reflects on the Challenges Parents Face in Modeling Environmental Practices:

As a parent who is concerned about the environment, you may have considered how you might continue modeling good stewardship to your children, even as the school system is taking care of them for several hours a day.

And as a parent, you are the role model for the environmental needs of your children’s school. You are enabling them to“turn a new leaf,” so to speak! Over the coming weeks, Waste Less Living, Inc. will share a few approaches that you can use to introduce environmental stewardship practices within the existing framework of your children’s school. It won’t happen all at once; it is a process. Planting the seed, so to speak, with one activity at a time can make a large impact over the course of a year.

1. Create a strategy as to how the schools can get involved:

Example: Find like-minded parents who share your concern about the environment and wastes, and create your own Green Team. Identify practical, low-hanging fruit projects you can implement with minimal teacher involvement. Once the teachers see the action that is being taken, they will want to get in on it, too! An example of a low-hanging fruit project might be:

Send an email blast to parents with a ‘Tips’ page, which would give them advice on how to package a one day, zero-waste lunch.

How to avoid possible pitfalls:

· Pitfall: Parents who are indecisive or unsupportive about getting involved;

SOLUTION: Enlist the school principal or the director to give 100% support so that he or she is advertising the effort. This can ensure a greater engagement from other parents.

· Pitfall: Disorganized efforts in monitoring the results of the actions;

SOLUTION: Designate one point-person who will collect, monitor and report the data that is obtained.

 

*Image Source: (Also additonal great insight from another parent’s point-of-view!) http://www.thefamilygroove.com/mar09_EcoHasLanded.htm