Saturday, October 17, 2015

Closing the Loop on Food Waste: Food to Compost to Food

by John Chorlton, Verde Valley School

What we did



At the Verde Valley School Environmental Stewardship is ingrained in daily life. Through the Mission Statement and through actions undertaken by the whole community, since its inception in 1948, it is a living piece of the VVS lifestyle. One of our efforts was to close the loop on food waste, composting it along with horse manure from the equine program so it could go back on the garden. This is tricky because the Department of Health has regulations for composting to ensure pathogens aren’t passed on to students.

Each year, VVS produces about 2500 pounds of high-grade compost that helps our school garden to flourish. The value of the compost is approximately $600 a year. The value of not having the waste hauled away by waste removal services is about $3400 a year. Since 2011, VVS has utilized 100% of the compost produced.

How does it work


Capture food waste: After a student finishes his or her meal in the dining hall, they bring their dishes to the dishwashing station. Before stacking their plate in the window, they pass the recycling bins and then the composting bin. Here they separate their waste before moving on with their day. The kitchen staff empty the compost bin into a larger container outside the dining hall after every meal. Recycling crews pick up the recyclables twice a week.

Within the kitchen, the staff carefully and thoughtfully prepare food for the community every day. Throughout the process they are dumping food waste into five gallon buckets. They also put vegetable scraps into another bin for the chickens and another for the vermicomposting bin. They store these bins in the walk-in cooler.

Take it to the compost pile: Each day a team of two students arrives with a golf cart and attaches the 50 gallon receptacle outside the dining hall to the back of the cart with bungee cord. The students grab the food scrap containers from the walk-in cooler and make their way up to the composting compound.

Since the Fall of 2011 students have managed the process of layering food waste with horse manure from the stables and yard waste from the landscaping crew. Twice a week the team records ambient temperature, core temperature, relative moisture, Ph Balance and (more recently) precipitation. All of this is stored in a shared document that can be accessed and entered into via a smartphone on site.

Track nature at work: The bins that hold the compost materials are moved from Active holding bins to Passive  periodically (though they are constantly in some part of decomposition process). After the batches, which are named after their start date, are stored for at least 365 days, the piles are sifted into Finished product. All the viable organic materials that are too big for the Finished bin are put into pit composting piles with excess landscaping materials. These pit composts are 7 feet wide by 50 feet long by an average of five feet deep.

Test it: Over the course of a year, VVS produces about 2500 pounds of finished compost. A sample of this material is sent to Food Safety Net Services in Phoenix for testing. This is done to comply with state standards that allow us to move the compost product into the community garden.

Put it on the garden: Once in the community garden, the garden crew blends the compost with the native soil according to the needs of the crop. Since the garden was built, food has been grown and sold at a local farmers market to help offset the costs of running the garden.

Let the garden go to seed: Michael Spielman, who runs the garden, has created a seed bank comprised of heirloom, native and organic products. After the first crops were grown, seeds were harvested and added to the seed bank. During 2014 and 2015, many of the seeds were harvested from our original planting. Michael has seen a decrease in water consumption and increased heartiness after the first year as the next generation of plants adjust to the climate and soils. There has also been some wonderful cross-pollinations that are bringing unique and delicious produce to our community.

Plan meals around available produce: The garden crew and kitchen staff have begun planting and meal planning based on the crop production. Now the food being prepared for our community follow this path:
  • produce we have grown from our own seed,
  • is harvested by staff and students and then
  • is walked to the kitchen for preparation
  • to be served as a delicious, nutritious meal.

When a plate is cleared after a meal the cycle is renewed.

What we learned

Throughout the process there have been so many lessons learned. From planning policy, process and procedure to designing and building the systems, to implementation, everyone involved were forced to really think through how everything works together.

Compost
  • Defining how much food waste we produce in a year and what to do with it
  • Defining best practices for composting such large quantities
  • Defining how we manage composting process with students?
  • Learning how to interface with the state of AZ to get certified and then following through
  • Create and define protocols
  • Learning annual rhythms
  • Refining techniques through trial and error.
  • Communicating with the gardeners and getting timing and delivery of final product to the garden.
Garden
  • There were so many lessons learned in the construction process;
    • How to design and build a fence using as much re-purposed material as possible while still making a beautiful space
    • How deep to dig gopher wire trenching - and how not to get mad when they get in regardless of all the hard work.
    • How to work with many groups to achieve a common end goal

Resources/Links


AZ regulations on composting -

Contact info for Phoenix x Food Safety Net lab - http://www.food-safetynet.com/

Monday, September 7, 2015

Zero Waste School Lunches


by Jean Turocy, Sedona Recycles

Image courtesy of  Inhabitots
Reducing waste from school lunches is an effective way to help your child (or class) to experience sustainability directly. We are responsible for everything that passes through our hands, adopting zero waste lunch practices raises awareness about our impact.  Schools are sometimes hard pressed to offer a good recycling system due to budgets, time and staff restraints, and non-recyclable materials used by food service providers. Changing a few habits can yield big results despite the setbacks.
Lunch from home: if there is no recycle bin offered, adopt the “pack it in, pack it out” motto: take your empty recyclables with you in your lunchbox and recycle at home.   
·      Use a reusable bag or lunchbox.
·      Use a washable container instead of disposable baggies. Reuse baggies, or recycle clean ones with grocery bags.
·      Plasticware, take it home and wash it.
·      Most plastic food containers are recyclable, (yoghurt, applesauce, etc).
·      Buy drinks in recyclable containers (call your recycler to ask what they take).
·      Cloth napkin
·      Save leftovers for a snack later.

TriBento lunch box
School lunch:
·      Bring a small lunch kit with reusable plasticware and a cloth napkin.
·      Put condiments on the food, not in a separate container.
·      Find out in advance what’s being served and if you don’t like it, bring a lunch. 
·      Call your local recycler and see if they’ll do a waste audit.
http://recyclenation.com/2015/08/how-can-you-help-your-kids-recycle-at-school  
Note: Sedona Recycles can monitor the zero waste lunches for schools in the Sedona area.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Successes to Date and Plans for the Future


Play the Sustainability in Schools simulation/card game


Are you looking for something interesting to do during staff meetings or in-service training?

Learn which sustainability-related projects have the best cost/benefit and discover how to use these as teaching opportunities.

We showcased our Sustainability in Schools simulation card game at the Summer Sustainability Sampler. The feedback was positive and we got some additional ideas for improving the game. It’s now ready for prime-time. We’ve been a good response from around the country.

You can now download the game for free. It takes about 90 min. to play and then debrief to the point where you have an action plan for your school. Let us know if you want some help facilitating it or working on the sustainability-related projects that might come from playing the game.

The photo on the right is from our Summer Sustainability Sampler event, one team playing the game.
Go to the bottom of this page for the DOWNLOAD Link.

Support one another

If you want to stay in touch with a growing cadre of people in the Education for Sustainability field in AZ (teachers and administrators as well as those who can provide free services to your school), join this GoogleGroup. You’ll be able to ask questions and share your successes with other like-minded educators in Arizona. We are also planning virtual and face-to-face meetings which many of the teachers asked for.

When you sign into google, go to GoogleGroups and look for Sustainability Alliance Education for Sustainability. This should give you a way to ask to be added. If that doesn’t work, send me a request via email and I’ll add you manually.

Also, be sure to sign up to get feeds from the Sustainability Alliance website. We will start posting success stories and tips for how to implement sustainability in schools. Go to http://www.sustainabilityallianceaz.org and look for the Follow By Email prompt on the right side of the website.


What’s next—maybe—mobile sustainability classroom

Since most of the schools in Arizona don’t have a lot of bucks to develop sustainability-related lesson plans, we are considering designing a mobile sustainability classroom, a sustainability-related field trip that comes to you! Right now we are trying to find partners (e.g., teacher colleges that might want to help us design and deliver these modules). Do you think this would be useful? Please let us know if your school would want to be a pilot site.

If you have other ideas for how we can support you, please share them!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sustainability in Schools Simulation Game


Overview

The Sustainability in Schools Game is a fun way to expose teachers and administrators to Education for Sustainability, the process of integrating sustainability into schools and uncover opportunities for the school. It helps schools identify sustainability-related practices (e.g., that save energy and water, reduce waste, or improve student health) that have the best return on investment, the biggest bang-for-the-buck or time invested. 

Educators are dealt a set of cards from a deck of 45 Sustainability Project Cards (covering waste, water, energy, purchasing and food).  They identify the practices or projects that make the most sense for their school and organize them into a two-year plan.

This game focuses on operations because implementing sustainability can, if wisely done, save the school money and engage the community. However, players also explore how these sustainable practices can be woven into classroom instruction.

This game really helped us uncover what was already happening in different classrooms and what the teachers wanted to work on next. We set priorities and we all left inspired to embed sustainability into all our work with students.
—Lisa Hirsch, Sedona Charter School

Teams are scored on their ability to pick sustainability-related projects with the lowest net cost and the biggest sustainability benefits. The game and debrief take approximately 2 hours so can easily be used for professional development during in-service training.

The exercise itself is intended to exemplify student-centered learning and provide ideas for project-based learning. It can also be used with Middle- and High School students.

Watch this video to see how the game works:


Watch this video for detailed instructions for running the game:


Description

Participants are broken into teams and given a stack of cards which have sustainability-related school projects with associated sustainability benefits and costs (time and money, along with projected cost savings). Participants have a budget and must choose amongst the project options to build a two year Sustainability Project Plan. Teams are scored on the Cost-Benefit of their plan. Participants also examine ways to use their projects as learning opportunities, identifying where they can be inserted into the curriculum. The game can be played at several levels of challenge, including creating a 5 year plan for a fully-sustainable, net-zero-everything school.


Audience

  • Teachers and/or administrators who want to begin integrating sustainability practices into school operations and use those practices as learning opportunities. K-12.
  • Sustainability coordinators at schools
  • Professors of Education and their students at teachers' colleges who want to understand how to integrate sustainability into their careers.

Prerequisites

A basic familiarity with the term sustainability

An interest in integrating it into the school system

Learning objective(s)

  • Explore how sustainability practices can be applied in schools
  • Assess the appropriateness of various sustainability operational practices in terms of costs and sustainability-related benefits
  • (Optional) Reinforce and apply The Natural Step System Conditions, a systems- and science-based framework for understanding sustainability
  • Identify ways to use those practices as learning opportunities for students
  • Select ideas that are worthy of consideration for implementation within 12 months at the participants own school.
Click here to DOWNLOAD the game files:
  • PowerPoint to plan and facilitate the activity
  • PDF of the cards (4-up; print one set per team of approx 6 people and then cut) 
  • MS Word Worksheet (print one per team of approx 6 people)
For more information about the framework upon which the cards are built:
  • The Natural Step (main site; look for principles or system conditions) http://www.thenaturalstep.org//
  • Sustainability Illustrated (short videos) https://www.youtube.com/user/learnsustainability

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sustainability in Schools—Come to our June 8 event

Ta Da! Our Sustainability in Schools simulation is now available! 

Learn how to find sustainability-related projects that make business sense and how to use them as teaching tools.

We are going to host a Summer Sustainability Sampler in June (a half day workshop, tentatively June 8, 2015) in Sedona for teachers and administrators. We'll play the game and Verde Valley School will talk about their experiences with sustainability. You'll get all the materials to run the game in your own school. Click here for more information or register below.





Brown Paper Tickets Ticket Widget Loading...

Click Here to visit the Brown Paper Tickets event page.



We are licensing it under the Creative Commons, making it free to others to use and modify for non-commercial purposes. Contact us if you want to use the game or if you want to be invited to the Summer Sustainability Sampler.  

SustainabilityAllianceAZ@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

There's now a name for what we are: Sustainability Management Association

Recently, EcoDistricts released their Top 10 Trends and one was Sustainability Management Associations. In the past, organizations have had Sustainability Management Systems to manage their transition toward sustainability. But now it appears there is a formal corollary practice for communities. It's exactly what the Sustainability Alliance was formed to do.

Here's what we've learned so far...

This is an emerging practice. A google search is not very helpful. The term is too new. But here is what EcoDistricts says (with my bolding for emphasis). Click here to see their original blog post which includes some other exciting innovations including Crowd Resourcing.

Sustainability Management Associations

Here's how Ecodistricts defines SMA's.
Making change happen goes beyond simply preparing a plan. Implementation and lasting success need to be core planning objectives in city planning offices, and that requires a smart governance structure. The Sustainability Management Association (SMA) is a model to build and sustain long-term leadership, capacity and governance on all matters related to sustainability over time within a precinct or neighborhood. The model is based on a collaborative governance approach. There is a sharing of power, decision-making, and project development (funding). No one entity does or should do it all. The SMA ensures that change is guided by strong sustainability goals and metrics, and that performance is monitored and results are reported. This allows stakeholders effectively and accurately determine progress and performance and identify opportunities for continual improvements. The SMA, through its function of building a shared vision and set of integrated sustainability targets for the precinct or neighborhood, is required to coordinate the sustainability efforts and actions of diverse stakeholders within a community. The SMA becomes the dedicated entity to guide the sustainability investments for the precinct or neighborhood. As cities across North America (Portland, Charleston NC, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Ottawa) actively pursue opportunities for SMA-type arrangements in their urban regeneration projects, there is a genuine commitment to advancing governance models that will support collective impact.

What is Collaborative Governance?

If you follow the Collaborative Governance link, you’ll get this description from the National Policy Consensus Center, Policy Consensus Initiative:


Leaders engaging with all sectors—public, private, non-profit, citizens, and others—to develop effective, lasting solutions to public problems that go beyond what any sector could achieve on its own.

What results does it produce?

The best public solutions come from people working together on issues. Collaborative governance takes as its starting point the idea that working together creates more lasting, effective solutions.

Lasting—Solutions developed through collaborative governance won't simply be undone in the next year or legislative session.
Effective—The collaborative governance approach ensures that the realities of the situation are considered and discussed; decisions are not made in a vacuum.
More buy-in—From the outset, all with a stake are involved in authentic ways; all have a role in the final agreement.

Why is it needed?


Accelerating change
Overlapping institutions and jurisdictions
Increasing complexity
A need to integrate policies and resources
How is this different from "government?"

"Governance" is the process by which public ends and means are identified, agreed upon, and pursued. This is different than "government," which relates to the specific jurisdiction in which authority is exercised. "Governance" is a broader term and encompasses both formal and informal systems of relationships and networks for decision making and problem solving.

What does it take?

Collaborative governance requires three elements:

Sponsor- an agency, foundation, civic organization, public-private coalition, etc. to initiate and provide support
Convener/Leader- a governor, legislator, local official, respected civic leader, etc. with power to bring diverse people together to work on common problems
Neutral Forum- an impartial organization or venue, etc. to provide and ensure skilled process managament
 
How does it work?

The System integrates the principles and network to assure an effective collaborative governance process:
  • Sponsors identify and raise an issue
  • Assessment is made on the feasibility for collaboration and who needs to be involved
  • Leader(s) convene all needed participants
  • Participants adopt this framework for addressing the issue
  • Conveners and participants frame (or reframe) the issue for deliberation
  • Neutral forum/facilitator designs and conducts a process to negotiate interests and integrate resources
  • Written agreement establishes accountability
  • Sponsors identify and raise an issue or opportunity that calls for a collaborative response
This collaborative governance system can work anywhere as long as several key principles are adhered to: transparency; equity and inclusiveness; effectiveness and efficiency; responsiveness; accountability; forum neutrality; and consensus-based decision making.


Collective Impact

The link to Collective Impact takes you to an article by the Stanford Social Innovation Review about Strive, a nonprofit in Ohio focused on education. But this passage is relevant to our work. I’ve bolded a couple places.

Why has Strive made progress when so many other efforts have failed? It is because a core group of community leaders decided to abandon their individual agendas in favor of a collective approach to improving student achievement. More than 300 leaders of local organizations agreed to participate, including the heads of influential private and corporate foundations, city government officials, school district representatives, the presidents of eight universities and community colleges, and the executive directors of hundreds of education-related nonprofit and advocacy groups.

These leaders realized that fixing one point on the educational continuum—such as better after-school programs—wouldn’t make much difference unless all parts of the continuum improved at the same time. No single organization, however innovative or powerful, could accomplish this alone. Instead, their ambitious mission became to coordinate improvements at every stage of a young person’s life, from “cradle to career.”

Strive didn’t try to create a new educational program or attempt to convince donors to spend more money. Instead, through a carefully structured process, Strive focused the entire educational community on a single set of goals, measured in the same way. Participating organizations are grouped into 15 different Student Success Networks (SSNs) by type of activity, such as early childhood education or tutoring. Each SSN has been meeting with coaches and facilitators for two hours every two weeks for the past three years, developing shared performance indicators, discussing their progress, and most important, learning from each other and aligning their efforts to support each other.

Strive, both the organization and the process it helps facilitate, is an example of collective impact, the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem. Collaboration is nothing new. The social sector is filled with examples of partnerships, networks, and other types of joint efforts. But collective impact initiatives are distinctly different. Unlike most collaborations, collective impact initiatives involve a centralized infrastructure, a dedicated staff, and a structured process that leads to a common agenda, shared measurement, continuous communication, and mutually reinforcing activities among all participants.

Sustainability in Schools Card Game Description

Overview

This instructional game, a card game, is a fun way to expose teachers and administrators to Education for Sustainability, the process of integrating sustainability into schools. This game focuses on operations more than curriculum because implementing sustainability can, if wisely done, save the school money and engage the community. However, the game does explore how these sustainable practices can be woven into classroom instruction.

The game and debrief take approximately 2 hours so can easily be used for professional development during in-service training.

The exercise itself is intended to exemplify student-centered learning and provide ideas for project-based learning. It can also be used with Middle- and High School students.

Sample cards

Description

Participants are broken into teams and given a stack of cards which have sustainability-related school projects with associated sustainability benefits and costs (time and money, along with projected cost savings). Participants have a budget and must choose amongst the project options to build a two year Sustainability Project Plan. Teams are scored on the Cost-Benefit of their plan. Participants also examine ways to use their projects as learning opportunities, identifying where they can be inserted into the curriculum.

Audience

Teachers and/or administrators who want to begin integrating sustainability practices into school operations and use those practices as learning opportunities. K-12.

Prerequisites:
  • A basic familiarity with the term sustainability
  • An interest in integrating it into the school system
  • Learning objective(s)
  • Explore how sustainability practices can be applied in schools

Learning Objectives

  • Assess the appropriateness of various sustainability operational practices in terms of costs and sustainability-related benefits
  • Become familiar with The Natural Step System Conditions, a systems- and science-based framework for understanding sustainability
  • Identify ways to use those practices as learning opportunities for students
  • Select ideas that are worthy of consideration for implementation within 12 months at the participants own school.
The game is licensed under the Creative Commons. You must share any updates with us and it cannot be used for commercial purposes. If you want to download the simulation free, contact us. Since it is still undergoing testing, we want to have a way to keep in touch. Contact us if you want us to facilitate this simulation for you. SustainabilityAllianceAZ@gmail.com

Sustainability in Schools Card Game

Instructional Game: One of the projects under the Alliance** is an effort to get sustainability into the school systems. Our two surveys (to AZ school administrators and teachers) showed us that there was a need for some in-service training on this topic.
So we have drafted an instructional game which we can then take into schools to show them how they can take on sustainability related projects to save money and also teach students about sustainability concepts. We plan to set up in-service sessions in the upcoming school year.
Click here for a full description.
It’s a card game where teachers and administrators in teams choose amongst a wide range of possible sustainability-related projects that are rated based on sustainability benefits and cost+time involved, along with savings the projects might generate. Teams create a two year plan (which is evaluated based on net costs and benefits) and then identify how these projects could be woven into the curriculum. We are in the process of testing and refining the game. See the samples in the image below.



** With the participation of the Verde Valley School as well as Gardens for Humanity and Sedona Recycles


HOW YOU CAN HELP: Let us know if you have a contact in a school that might want to have this training.

Systems analysis of our impacts

After using The Natural Step's system conditions to identify negative environmental and social impacts in our area, we analyzed the relationship between our community systems (eg, energy, governance, housing, water) and the negative impacts. While we were looking at the greater Sedona area, we took responsibility not only for our direct actions (like using energy or water) as well as the life cycle impacts of major purchases; so for example, we assumed we should take responsibility for the impacts elsewhere of the food we buy and use here.

The biggest drivers of impacts


As a result of this analysis, we found the community systems responsible for most of the impacts were in order of impact (based on the number of times the system was found to be a major driver of impacts):

  • Lifestyle (eg, part time residents; choices about size of home, energy, water, landscaping, etc.) (11)
  • Housing (the efficiency of the housing stock as well as location) (9)
  • Food (impacts associated with ag and grazing) (8)
  • Water (sourcing, use and pollution) (7)
  • Waste (solid waste and waste water, absence of household hazardous waste disposal options) (6)

The biggest social/environmental impacts our area contributes to are:

  • Climate change (9)
  • Water (5)
  • Citizenship (lack of involvement and participation of citizens in local governance) (5)
  • Plastics (largely driven by food) (4)
  • Farmland (includes soil depletion, pesticides, reduction of native plants and animals) (4)
  • Economic based (currently tied to tourism and construction) (4)
We are trying to show those relationships visually. Here is a DRAFT. Note how the Community Systems themselves impact one another.


These community systems and impacts have reinforcing loops which can set up 'death spirals.' So our next step is to identify how these impacts (which have momentum; they will continue for some time) will come back to affect our community systems. This systems analysis will help us identify the highest leverage actions we can take in concert to move toward a sustainable community.

Monday, January 26, 2015

What do Arizona school teachers want regarding sustainability?

Sustainability in Schools
Teacher Survey Results


This paper compiles the findings of a Sustainability in Schools teacher survey in Arizona during January 2015. The survey was administered by the Education for Sustainability program under the Sustainability Alliance.


Contents

Familiarity/Importance of Sustainability and  Barriers to Integrating It into Schools........... 2
Training and Support Needed........... 3
Current Practices at Respondents’ Schools........... 5
Comments included in the open-ended question............ 6
Demographics of Respondents........... 8



Familiarity/Importance of Sustainability and Barriers to Integrating It into Schools



Here we see the same relationship as that of the administrators where the familiarity is somewhat less than the perceived importance. However the teachers rated it higher in importance than administrators did.


Lack of knowledge about sustainability and general sense of being overwhelmed were the biggest barriers. Notably, it appears teachers have the support of Administration.

Training and Support Needed

The teacher learning needs show that teachers already understand why it’s important to teach (and to a lesser extent) model sustainability practices. Their biggest need is to know what the critical skills, knowledge and abilities are. This should be answered by June by a worldwide convening of thought leaders.


The largest request for support was for lesson plans and materials, which echoes the Administrator survey. There is also a preference for in-service training rather than summer workshops.



For those who expressed an interest in a summer workshop, here is their preferred duration for that training:
WORKSHOP LENGTH

One day
21
Two day
10
2 1/2 day residential
8




Current Practices at Respondents’ Schools

 
Most respondents felt their schools were doing little to nothing regarding sustainable operations however a number of respondents thought their schools were doing quite a bit, with Energy being the largest category. A subset of those also used these practices as a teaching tool in the classroom.

Not surprisingly, sustainability related content was most commonly taught in natural sciences but a significant number of respondents indicated they also taught related content in almost all other subject areas except foreign languages.

Comments included in the open-ended question.

What else would you like us to understand or do to help you?
I feel the cafeteria and the culinary program could help our Ag program with foods that the chickens/rabbits/etc. animals in Ag can eat. Our school could do more in recycling, but there are no collections besides paper and cans in our town. HELP, we are rural and far from recycling centers
I fear that unless your concepts are linked specifically to CCRS or to Beyond Textbooks, you will have difficulty having schools adopt such practices into classrooms no matter how important they are.
I would like to make sure that this is not simply a "climate change" initiative and topics like leadership, civic participation, and other socially relevant topics are addressed.
Most of our teachers have no time for anything else. We all have a great challenge just trying to keep with our current duties (teaching, prep, meetings, teacher duties, and extra-curricular obligations. We cannot add another item. It will have to be a trade.
I don't know what sustainability is.
We had a teacher last year that took the lead in getting a garden going. Since she left I don't know of anyone who has taken the lead in continuing what was started. I do know that there were outside organizations that helped get it started and our school PTO helped purchase a few things for the garden. I'd like to see it continue and thrive.
We need training to implement this within our school.
We are a title one school
installation of water stations where students refill there water bottles which helps them stay hydrated and also helps the environment by keeping thousands of plastic water bottles out of our local landfill.

Integrating Earthship construction into our curriculum.
Any way to supply teachers with curriculum would be helpful. We are constantly reinventing the wheel, and become overwhelmed with curriculum development in heavily tested subjects. I would love to focus even more on sustainability, but I need help with preparation.
This is a subject I am very passionate about. I taught at a school in Colorado which included sustainable living in daily activities and lessons. If funding were made available, I would really like to be involved in implementing a program at my school. I think this is an amazing idea and essential learning for students.
I'd like to see sustainability integrated at the earliest possible grade level.
Our time is quite limited. We do participate and want to be more involved, but time is a limited resource for our staff.
Any help would be greatly appreciated and respected!
We have established a school garden, 200 tree orchard, compost from our food facility pre and post service, teach greenhouse growing techniques, and have funding for a two year expansion of our projects. We are also looking at opportunities to support educators pursuing sustainability initiatives.
I would like more ideas on integrating it into the curriculum and supplies to continue projects. Currently we are doing a lot of projects with pallets in Agriculture Science and Agriculture Mechanics. We have made planter boxes for our awards banquets and for the students to take home to grow plants in. We have also made two display boards out of the pallets, one was a tri-fold that was used for our Floriculture Career Development Event Display where the students created a window display around the theme of Graduation for the contest. Then we also made one for the Agriculture Mechanics shop to display projects on for the community to buy. We have also been collecting the large food cans from the cafeteria and using them as small plant projects projects, feed cans for animals and decorations for our events. Our next hope is to start composting using the thrown out food from the cafeteria, currently we do not have a spot to keep it but we do have land that as soon as it is cleared will have space to have large compost piles to use in our gardens and greenhouse. We need bins for the cafeteria and students to use for recycling as well as supplies to increase our garden.




Demographics of Respondents

Subjects respondents teach

Natural sciences
13
Social sciences
14
Math
21
English/writing/lit
18
Foreign language
2
Art/music
7
Life skills
7
Trades
1
Community service
5
Extracurricular
2
Physical Ed
1




Grade Level Taught

Primary
11
Middle
10
High school
28
College
2