PART III: OPERATION AND DESIGN (BMP)
Solid Waste Reduction
During the 2008-2009 school year, Laurel Woods began the "Trash-Free Thursdays" waste reduction program, and have successfully carried it through to the current school year. Led by the Green Team, students are encouraged to reduce the amount of solid waste that is thrown away each day during the lunch hours through posters, and reminders on the announcements and weekly newsletters. This year, we have increased our efforts by weighing the amount of trash that is thrown away each Thursday with the help of our custodian, Mr. Curry. The data is graphed and posted in the cafe to help encourage recycling. The grade that reduces their trash the most each week wins the Trash-Free Trophy, made from recyclable objects. So far this year we went from averaging 200 pounds of trash a day to averaging 145 pounds a day.
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"Our school has Trash Free Thursdays when we bring things that can be recycled, no trash. We also have recycling bins in every classroom and the cafeteria. At home, I labeled a box with a sign that says Recycle." - Britney S.
Drink Pouch Brigade
The fifth grade team helped reduce waste by participating in the drink pouch recycling program under the leadership of Mrs. Merle. Pouches were collected, washed and packaged to be sent to TerraCycle. Last year's efforts raised $8.00 for the school, but the profit to the environment was much more valuable!
Elmer's Glue Crew
Laurel Woods enrolled in a new recycling program this year known as the Glue Crew. Sponsored by Elmer's Glue, the third grade after school green team collects empty glue containers from each grade and will drop them off at Walmart at the end of the school year. The students are excited to have yet another way to help our Earth!
Paper Recycling and Reduction
Not only does Laurel Woods have a successful paper recycling program in place, but we have also taken steps to reduce the amount of paper that is used. Our bi-weekly newsletter, the Dolphin Digest, is now sent electronically to over 260 families. In addition, the staff weekly newsletter, The Woods, is also sent electronically. Teachers are using Elmo document cameras in the classrooms to reduce the numbers of handouts given to students. We currently have 22 Elmos for instructional use, and 4 more have been ordered for next year. Our school website is also used to communicate with parents about school events.
Oyster Reef Balls
In order to help replenish the declining oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay, fourth graders constructed six concrete oyster reef balls in collaboration with the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. With the help of Mrs. Wilson and parent volunteers, children were seen preparing the molds, mixing the concrete and making a difference! They were excited to know that their efforts will benefit the health of the Bay. The oyster reef balls were taken to the Chesapeake Bay by the Maryland Watermen's Association where they were dropped to form an artificial reef.
Second grade students and their families were invited to the community event "Grab a Shovel" on April 25, 2009. Students had the opportunity to be part of the construction and planting of the new butterfly garden at Laurel Woods Elementary School. Students had a first hand experience with developing a butterfly habitat that supported the needs of the adult Painted Lady butterfly. Second Grade students watched the garden grow as summer approached and eventually had the opportunity to release their own butterflies into the garden.
Energy Conservation- Bard CS2000
Mrs. Dumler, our principal, was one of the first to install occupancy sensors in our four portables. It will learn your arrival schedule and bring the heat on prior to your arrival after learning the schedule. It saves energy by turning the heat in to a "set back" mode (55 degrees) when it is "unoccupied" - holidays - weekends - evenings.
Energy Savers Club
"The Energy Savers Team has been encouraging teachers and students to turn off the lights. We have been making door hangers and decorated index cards next to the light switch to remind people to turn off the lights." - Patrick and Ruben, 5th grade
"I can be green at home and be energy efficient by turning out the lights when I am not using them and unplug any wires when I am not using the electronics. If I don't, it still uses energy." -Jenelle C.
The H2O Kids
"The H2O Kids is a water-saving group that informs people to save water. We already made our own brochures to help spread the word about saving water." - Gaby P.
"The H2O Kids was formed because we thought our school wasted too much water. So we have thought of ways to save water, like using a rain barrel to collect water for plants. I joined because I thought I could inspire kids to save more water at school." - Chyna M.
"We have made stickers for the bathrooms and water fountains to give tips and reminders to turn off the water." - Esther A.
"We make announcements every "Water Wednesday" to give tips on how to save water." -Ryan H.
Storm Drain Stenciling
Fourth graders toured the school grounds to identify the storm drains on school grounds. We have applied for stencils to remind the community not to dump anything in the drain. We plan on painting storm drains on our Earth Day celebration on April 23.