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Do the earth a favor at Jarvis Zero Waste Lunch Day

Photo of two students and a teacher

Brianna Cotton and Victoria Wlcox and their fellow students in Karen Casler’s seventh grade science class will do their part on Earth Day to reduce the waste generated in the Jarvis Middle School cafeteria.

Everyday, the Jarvis cafeteria generates 300 pounds of waste. That’s 27 tons per year going to the landfill!

Mrs. Casler’s seventh grade science class has decided to do something about that. Working with the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority, the students have organized Zero Waste Lunch Day at Jarvis on Earth Day 2014—Monday, May 5.

Mrs. Casler’s students will be in the cafeteria reminding schoolmates of steps they can take to minimize what goes to the landfill—reduce, reuse and recycle.

A key effort will be to encourage students to separate food waste—a big part of cafeteria waste—from other waste. Food waste will be collected and then composted.

Other great ideas for parents and students include:

  • Pack food items in reusable containers (like Tupperware) or in recyclable aluminum foil instead of plastic bags.
  • Avoid individually wrapped or prepackaged single-serve items such as chips, string cheese, cookies and drinks.
  • Pack reusable utensils instead of disposable forks and spoons.
  • Pack reusable cloth napkins instead of paper napkins.
  • Prepare extra food at dinnertime and pack leftovers for lunch.
  • Only pack as much food as a student will eat.
  • Label all containers with the student’s name, improving the likelihood the containers come home.
  • Cut large items so students can save extra food for after-school snacks.