Green Steps Schools is an environmental education and action initiative that recognizes schools in South Carolina who take annual sustainable steps toward becoming more environmentally responsible. GES has been recognized as a “Certified Green Steps Schools” for 6 years now – ONE of only 19 in our state!. There are 6 ongoing projects that have been acted upon. They include Restore Habitat: SC Fence Garden; Restore Soil: Composting; Conserve: Recycling; Conserve: Reuse; Protect: Water; and Protect: Litter Prevention. To learn more about this program, please visit: http://greenstepschools.com
WHAT’S GROWING IN OUR GARDEN?
Several items in our garden are getting ready to be harvested. We planted leaf lettuces and they are ready to be picked and eaten. We have some parsley that is ready to be picked as well. We are anxious for the Green Team to sample what they planted. Some of the other fruits and vegetables they planted are cabbages, strawberries, kale, onions and broccoli.
We will be collecting gently worn shoes as part of the Keep the Midlands Beautiful Project. Please bring in gently worn shoes that can be given to other individuals to wear. This will reduce the number of shoes being thrown in the landfill. We will take children’s shoes and adult shoes. Collection of shoes will continue until May 11. There is a collection box under the stairwell in the 3rd grade hall.
AFTER SCHOOL CLEAN UP
The Green Team is having a school clean up day in honor of Earth Day. They are asking students to help the earth by staying after school on Thursday, May 3 and help the team clean up the grounds by picking up litter. They are also asking the students to help weed the SC Fence Garden and make it look as nice as it can.
Any student is welcome to stay as long as they turn in a parent permission slip by May 1. Thanks so much.
The Green Team has been busy learning how to make “Plarn” out of plastic grocery bags. Plarn is the term for plastic yarn. With all the grocery bags being donated to GES, the Green Team members have been folding, cutting, and weaving the pieces into long strings that can be wound into balls of yarn. The balls of yarn will be sent to River Bluff High School for the students to crochet it into plastic blankets for homeless people. These blankets will help to keep them warm and off the ground. We are so proud of our students for helping the community in such a great way. They are finding a useful purpose for the plastic bags instead of putting them in the landfill.
ADDING MORE RAIN BARRELS
Around GES we have two rain barrels in use at this time. The rain barrels are used to water our garden. We have the opportunity to increase our garden area and are in the need of extra rain barrels. Mr. John Oxner was happy to come to our aid. He brought the Green Team three more rain barrels to use. Mr. Oxner showed the students how to put all the fittings in the barrels and add the screens on the top. The students got the hang of it quickly and went to work assembling all the pieces.
Mr. John Oxner visited the fifth grade classes and demonstrated issues about the watershed. He brought a table to show the students what happens when there is excessive rain or storms and where run-off goes. He discussed water pollutants and how they get into the water stream. The fifth graders learned ways to be good stewards of the environment.
NEED PLASTIC GROCERY BAGS
The Green Team is in need of clean, plastic grocery bags for an upcoming project they will be working on. Please send in as many bags as you can. We have a collection station in the 3rd grade hall underneath the stairwell. Thank you in advance for your support!
RECYCLING: Printer Cartridges and Cell Phones October 2017
The Green Team had fun packaging old cell phones, non-working hand-held games, walkie-talkies, and old ink cartridges that had been placed in a box for recycling. All of those types of items can be shipped off to a company that will repurpose the items. That is good for the environment. Another good thing about this is that the company pays the Green Team for the items. The Green Team can spend the money on items they need to complete projects around campus. It is a Win Win situation! During this shipment, the amount of items recycled weighed a total of 14 pounds. That is a lot of phones and ink cartridges. Keep sending them in to GES to be recycled.
REUSING: Sharing With Others
Several of our Green Team members were busy packing up used solar eclipse glasses to be reused. These glasses are being mailed to a non-profit organization that acts as a collection station for eclipse glasses. They will check over all the glasses that come in and certify that they are in good shape. Then they will ship them to school children in South America so they can have eye protection for their upcoming eclipse in 2019.
Restore: Habitat – How does your Garden grow??
Our Green Team members have been working hard on maintaining our garden on campus. All of their hard work has paid off! Teachers were able to take some of our lettuce home and this is how it looked prior to the first picking!
Conserve: Recycle – Electronics Recycling
Our school recycle electronics and ship these items off to a fundraising company. This company provides our school with funds for student prizes on campus. This is a win-win for our school!
Here are some of our students organizing our electronics prior to shipping!
Protect – Litter Trashes Everyone
Our school had an art contest to promote the SC Litter Trashes Everyone with lots of great piece submitted.
Here is our schoolwide winner’s artwork!
In support of our Green Team, some of our Girls on the Run team members conducted litter pick up on our campus! Here are some pictures of the girls in action!
We also had a great turn out of volunteers for a day of litter pick-up!
Protect: Environment – Miss SC Visits to Teach promote Not Littering!
Miss SC took time out of her busy schedule to visit our 3rd graders and talk about ways we can protect the environment as part of her No Littering platform.
Conserve – Recycle – Shoe Recycling at GES
The GES Green Team is hard at work helping all students understand the importance of taking care of our Earth. Please help us by sending in GENTLY WORN shoes of all sizes. They will be donated to Keep The Midlands Beautiful so they can be passed on others who can use them. At GES, we also recycle ink jet cartridges (small enough to fit in the palm of your hand) and small electronics such as cell phones, gps systems, and hand held games. Our goal is to keep these items out of the landfill, so we ship them to a company for refurbishing. The company pays us for these items and we use those monies to offer student rewards for contests such as Rethink, Healthy Soil poster contest, etc.. Please help us to help others!
Here’s a look at our shoe collection in action! Thanks to all of the volunteer students who worked with us to make this possible!
Restore: Soil – Lunch ABC’s and Composting at GES
Below are pictures of 2 of our Green Team members teaching about the importance of composting. Shown at left is one of our 3rd grade Green Team members, talking with her class about composting at GES and the Lunch ABC’s! Shown at right is one of members talking to her class about how we can use composting to improve the soil in our garden. Great job ladies!
Conserve – Recycle: Electronics Recycling Event
Protect: Water and Soil – Rain Barrels and Compost Bins at GES
Two of the ways our Green Team cares for our vegetable garden is by installing a Rain Barrel and a Compost Bin. The Rain Barrel allows us to collect rain water and use this to water the plants. The Compost Bin allows students to toss in banana peels, apple peels, coffee grounds, etc to add to our soil as nutrients.
Protect: Water – Teaching About Rain Barrels!
Posters were made to put around campus so our Green Team Members could teach others about the importance of rain barrels in our garden!
Conserve: Reduce – Flip – Tap – and Stack in the cafeteria!
In an effort to reduce the amount of trash that leaves our campus each day, our Green Team began a campaign in the cafeteria called Flip – Tap – and Stack. This method of disposing of food waste and compacting our trays helped reduce the amount of bags of garbage we toss out in our cafeteria each day. This helped kids see the benefit of reducing waste.
Here are a few students as they flip – tap – and stack!
Here is the video some of our Team Members made to introduce and promote this on our campus!
Restore: Soil – Conservation Campaign
John Oxner, District Manager of the Lexington County Soil and Water
Conservation shared with our Green Team Leader during a recent meeting about soils and our vegetable garden. He was also on campus to talk with a few classes about understanding watersheds.
Protect: Air – Breathe Better GES
Our Green Team members have been learning about the role plants play in improving the air quality around us. We have placed several types of plants in our classrooms and the Green Team member in each class was responsible for teaching their class about why this is important as well as how to care for the plants. Here are some pictures from our Team assembling the plants for class!
And here is one of our 3rd grade teachers showing the progress her Poinsettia plant has made in her classroom. Each class was gifted one of these plants after the Winter Break and tasked with keeping it in their room and alive! To assist with keeping these plants alive in the classrooms, our Green Team members mixed a fertilizer solution that was distributed to each of their classrooms so they could feed their poinsettias. Below is one of our members mixing fertilizer for her class!
Restore: Habitat – Gardening at GES
Green Team members recently took advantage of the mild temperatures to work in our school garden.
Here are some pictures of the Cardboard Challenge from the Fall:
Here we are composting. We do ABC composting (apples, bananas, and carrots).
Here is one of the litter pickup crews in action. We are helping students learn that everyone working together can make a difference in how we care for our earth!
April 7, 2016
Students here are demonstrating making a bulletin board using recycled products to call attention to reusing materials.