Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Free Store

Sometimes resuable bottles and containers get misplaced and end up in the school's lost and found.
Our school is starting a Free Store!
Items left over from our school’s lost and found
are usually brought to the Salvation Army 3 times a year. Now before we take them there, kids and adults get take anything they'd like, for free.

Free stores are found all over the place, where communities are trying to reduce the amount
of things going into landfill. 

Hornby Island, a tiny B.C. island trying to reduce its waste with a Free Store.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cut It Up!

It's the best thing since sliced bread: sliced fruit!

Cutting up apples and other fruit ensures there is less waste
and more going into kids' tummies.

Apple corers are great!

Often kids don't eat the whole apple unless it's cut up.

Friday, May 25, 2012

What our Custodians think

Our custodians are very impressed with the success of our Waste Free Lunches. They say our total waste each day has been cut down by at least 67%, from 15 bags a day to about 5, for the whole school.

Since our big blitz during Earth Week, lunch waste been cut down even more. Last week Muriel picked up one bag of garbage after lunch for the whole school. For over 600 people, that's fabulous.

Last year we produced about 2700 bags of garbage in total during the school year. This year it will be about 900.

Holy cow!

The parents, kids and staff are all making this work. Way to go, Ecole Dickinsfield School!.

Monday, April 23, 2012

What our students think

 Check out this beautiful video of
Ecole Dickinsfield School students talking
about our school and Waste Free Lunches.

Filmed by Alex Rushdy, a local videographer.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Thrown Out Food

As much as we’d like our kids to eat what we pack for them, too often it ends up being tossed in the garbage. Ask your child to bring back any food they don’t eat, so you have a clear idea of how much food they need. You’ll also get an idea of food they just refuse to eat. A waste free lunch is one that doesn’t have food that has to be thrown out. It will also save you money!  

Friday, March 9, 2012

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot

If you have a truly healthy and waste free lunch, the only waste left is cores and peels. In our school, several classes are practicing the fourth R: Rot, with vermicomposting. Red wriggler worms are friendly little guys that turn leftover fruit and veggie bits into mineral rich dirt. The worms need the right moisture and amount of food, but otherwise are hardy and self-sufficient. Do you compost? Home composting can be worms (indoors) or a bin outdoors. It’s easy and a great way to help reduce waste heading to landfill. For more information, check out Ribbit’s tips at http://www.recycle-more.ca/index.php?page=webpages&menuid=77&id=382&action=displaypage&side=1  

What's a Bento Box?

It can be challenging adding variety to lunches. Tired of the same old things? Here’s a site offering ideas. http://whatscookingwithkids.com/2011/02/16/waste-free-lunches-school-lunch-ideas-for-parents/  

And Bento Boxes are a fun adventure in healthy and waste free lunches. Coming from the Japanese tradition, they feature a variety of foods arranged in reusable containers in cute ways. Here are some more sites with ideas.

Metal or Plastic?

Many reusable containers and bottles are plastic. Is there any danger in this? Here is some information on plastic. http://www.medicinenet.com/plastic/article.htm  According to this article, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration admits that something will always "leach out of the (plastic) container and into the food."  “The toxin DEHA appeared in the water sample from reused water bottles. DEHA has been shown to cause liver problems, other possible reproductive difficulties, and is suspected to cause cancer in humans. Therefore, it's best to recycle these bottles without reusing them.” Because of the questions around leaching, many people are using containers made of glass or stainless steel instead. If you use plastic, look for labels that clearly state BPA free and Phlalate free.

Interesting metal containers & bottles can be found at :
To-Go Ware:
Lunch Bots:
Kids Konserve:

Plastic Waste

Plastic is a wonderful material. It's waterproof, durable, and can perform an amazing variety of functions.

But plastic has also become a huge problem.

  • Plastic does not biodegrade. It is bio inert. It is embrittled by the sun.
  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (North Pacific Ocean Gyre) is a swirling mass of small plastic debris twice the size of Texas and weighing about 300 million pounds. It is composed of entire plastic items (toothbrushes, pens, soothers) and plastic that has broken into smaller pieces that don't decompose. In the surface of the Pacific Ocean, plastic outweighs plankton. Read more
  • 27% percent of the total of the total of what is found in the North Pacific Ocean Gyre is plastic film like that used in packaging. There is no code for knowing what kind of plastic there is. There is no infastructure for recycling it.
  • It's an irony that a product that is meant to last forever, is used for seconds and then tossed.
Charles Moore, scientist, Plastic Soup for the Soul

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why Bother?

Canada generates more municipal waste per capita annually than any of its peer countries - according to a REPORT issued by The Conference Board of Canada. The True North Strong and Free earned a “D” grade and ranks in last place when compared to 16 other countries. In 2007, Canada generated 894 kg per capita of municipal waste—well above the 17-country average of 635 kg per capita and more than twice as much as Japan, the top-performing country.
What does that mean? It means we have too much garbage. Garbage doesn't rot in landfills. It's layered up so deeply that the micro-organisms that digest compostable things, can't live. Plus a lot of our waste is plastic, which never rots.

It's time to reduce waste. Resuable containers are an easy way to help reduce waste.