Jennifer Woolson-Hilgel, environmental education coordinator from the Office of Pollution Prevention and Technical Assistance with IDEM, spoke to students about the three R's -- reduce, reuse and recycle. She also talked about composting and shared many items made from recycled materials.
Third through fifth graders played "Environmental Jeopardy," based off the popular TV version "Jeopardy!", filled with environmental questions. In addition, students planted a tree and were taught how trees help the earth by participating in activities, such as The Fallen Log, Every Tree for Itself, Habitat Lap Sit, Earth Manners and Visual Nature Scavenger Hunt.
Classes recited poems about taking care of the planet, which was a great way to reinforce all recycling efforts this year, by the staff and students. The entire elementary school pulled together and reduced its trash bins from two bins to just one with pick-up once per week.
The school turned its trash into cash by sending various items to Terracycle, a recycling company. Through the program, the school has collected and saved more than 22,000 drink pouches, 200 tape dispensers and cores, more than 700 glue sticks, 4,000 chip bags, 350 lunch kits and more than 3,000 writing instruments from the landfill.
Additionally, the school has recycled paper through the Abitibi Bowater Paper Recycling program and collected more than 650 ink cartridges for the Staples rewards.
During the month of March, students participated in a "March Madness" ink cartridge contest. The class to bring in the most ink cartridges won an ice cream party and given the chance to tape their principal, JoEllen Cook, to the wall. Bainbridge Elementary collected a total of 223 cartridges with Mrs. Cook's fifth grade and Mrs. Hankin's first grade classes tied for first place, bringing in 53 ink cartridges.
The taping of Cook was the conclusion of the school's celebration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. While tapped to the wall, Cook had a sign on her stating, "I'm stuck on recycling."