Having a zero-waste mindset means Lakeridge commits to supporting recycling/composting efforts at our school and to help educate students and fellow parents about waste-free lunches and recycling/composting at home.
Each year, in keeping with the King County Green Schools Program, Lakeridge challenges the staff and students with a new goal to help us stay on task as a certified green school. We aim for Zero Waste school events and a Zero Waste-minded lunchroom.
What does this mean? This means that all school events will be run using only recyclable and compostable materials and will create no trash that has to be sent to landfills. For the lunchroom, we will continue to promote waste-free lunches (see Waste Free Lunch page) and aim for Zero Waste-minded in hopes that families will do their best to send kids with reusable lunch boxes and food in reusable containers to keep trash to a bare minimum.
What is Zero Waste?
Zero Waste maximizes recycling and composting, minimizes waste, reduces consumption and ensures that products are made to be reused, repaired or recycled back into nature or the marketplace. No trash is sent to landfills or incinerators. Innovation and technology create new products all the time with old products when we are done with them. Even old CDs and DVDs can be made into such things as building insulation, packaging foam and coat hangers! Remember the old saying “one man’s trash is another’s treasure.”
What then is a wasted resource?
A wasted resource is something thrown away that could have been used again either in its original form (like a chair, article of clothing, toy or book) or remanufactured into new product (like a newspaper, a cardboard box, a bottle, a fleece blanket or jacket, an aluminum can, plastic lumber, or a soil amendment like compost).
Why is it so bad to send things to the landfill?
There are two big byproducts that come from trash sitting over time in a landfill: methane and leachate. When trash sits in a landfill, it breaks down over time and releases a harmful amount of methane gas, the primary component of natural gas. If methane is allowed to leak into the air before being used, as it does from the landfill, it absorbs the sun’s heat, and further warms the atmosphere. For this reason, it’s considered a greenhouse gas, like carbon dioxide, one of the largest contributors to global warming. Leachate is created by the liquids that drain or ‘leach’ from a landfill and forms a thick liquid that can seep into our underground waterways. It is a compilation of everything you throw out from leaking batteries, to dog poop, acids and so many chemicals that get dumped. It is because of all of this, that diverting trash and sorting in the lunchroom is unbelievably important and urgent! And your children have been doing an incredible job!
Here is a great link with information on how to make your life more zero-waste!