Playing Outside The Box: Don’t Be A School Litter Bug

Snack Time At Lisa’s Playhouse

As Canadians we have come to depend on many convenience products, and nowhere is this more evident than in our schools.  The exponential growth of plastics is now threatening the survival of our planet; from poisoning and injuring marine life to disrupting human hormones, littering our beaches and landscapes to clogging our waste streams and landfill . It is our responsibility to teach the next generation and model good environmental practices One simple way to start is to think about packing litter less lunches for our children.
There are many reasons why litter-less lunches are a good thing. Besides the environmentally-friendly component, a proper litter-less lunch plan is healthier as it cuts out pre-packaged; sugar laden food and can save you money in the long run. It also teaches children to be conscious about the waste they create and the food they put into their bodies. In our programs we encourage parents to pack litter-less lunches in an effort to reduce the waste from convenient store food packaging to our landfills and our classrooms.   The children will learn to be better stewards of our environment, an effort that hopefully will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Shocking Fact!  It has been estimated that on average a school-age child using a disposable (lunch) generates 67 pounds of (waste) per school year.  How much garbage do you think comes out of our schools just in the Sussex Area?   Approximate school enrollment: Apohaqui Elementary – 81, Sussex Corner Elementary – 327, Sussex Elementary School – 485, Sussex Middle School – 434, Sussex Regional High School – 726. For a total of 2053 students. 2053 x 67 lbs = 137, 551 pounds every year!!  Let’s try to turn this statistic around!
Earth day is on Sunday, April 22 so I challenge you to think about how to lower your carbon footprint.  Below are some ideas to help you get started.
Here are some tools for packing a waste-free lunch: Reusable insulated lunch carrier with cold pack; reusable containers – non-plastic containers like stainless steel are better; reusable drink bottle or a a thermos; cloth napkin to wash and reuse; silverware to wash and reuse.
Say no thank you to: paper or plastic bags; plastic wrap, foil, wax or Styrofoam; single-use cans or juice boxes; paper napkins; plastic forks/spoons; overly packaged/processed snacks. If you are looking for lunch box ideas & water bottles, check out fenigo.com or polkadotpond.ca. Canadian make and great deal on shipping.
Go to earthday.org or ndhealth.gov to learn more about helping our planted and  reducing And recycling plastic waste in schools.