In November of 2019, the Pleasanton School Board passed a resolution to become a priority partner for waste reduction including food waste prevention with the Alameda County Waste Management Authority and the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board, also known as StopWaste. StopWaste works to “[help] Alameda County’s businesses, residents, and schools waste less, recycle properly, and use water, energy, and other resources efficiently. The goal of the partnership is to reduce waste production in PUSD, and to provide students with the opportunity to learn about sustainability and food waste reduction while developing their leadership skills.

 

Mohr Elementary School has made the most of this partnership. Mohr’s Green Team collaborated with their Garden to create the Go Green Gardening Taskforce! The taskforce has handed out over 500 garden grow kits to students over the past months. The kits included old milk jugs that students could plant seeds in, a rare hands-on experience during distance learning.

 

 

Additionally, generous stipend from StopWaste allowed Mohr to purchase a TerraCycle Zero Waste Box for candy and snack wrappers. TerraCycle’s Zero Waste Box program provides the resources to recycle items that are typically considered non-recyclable. Mohr’s Zero Waste Box is prominently located by the school’s main gate and all Mohr Eagles are invited to “feed” it when they come by to pick-up school supplies.

Susanne Frey, the parent lead for Mohr’s Green Team, speaks very highly of Mohr’s partnership with StopWaste: “The collaboration with StopWaste has been highly beneficial for Mohr Elementary, and has resulted in our students taking action to reduce waste even while they are not physically in school and our district-wide Go Green program is temporarily on hold. StopWaste provides excellent resources via its website and regular workshops that it hosts for educators, parent volunteers, and student leaders. These workshops are focused on the 4Rs (Recycle, Reduce, Reuse and Rot) and invite participants to share stories and exchange ideas of how students of any age can make a difference in our local communities in terms of waste reduction.” The work Mohr’s students and staff have already done to make a difference on their campus is just the beginning. Partnering with StopWaste allows students to learn the importance of waste reduction and incorporate strategies to achieve into their lives from a young age. By starting to create a positive impact now, Mohr students are an example that you don’t have to wait to grow up to make a difference.

About Author

Claire Armstrong is a student at UC Davis. She is an English major, and is passionate about environmental issues and human rights. Claire is a member of the UC Davis Zero Waste and Sustainability club, and enjoys playing with her foster kittens in her spare time. She is really excited to be a part of the Go Green Initiative!