24 students in grades 4–6 at this south Minneapolis school analyzed the school lunch waste produced by the school and created recommendations to improve systems. The school established permanent composting systems, and the students used their new knowledge of composting while community gardening in the spring. The students also shared information with their families, made non-toxic cleaning products, and 16 families started composting. The students educated the entire school community (87 students and their families), including serving as composting educators during school lunch.
Home surveys indicated that 100% of the families would use their new knowledge to reduce food preparation waste and toxicity in their homes. Students staffed a booth along with the Green Guardian mascot for four hours at the Whittier Community Fair, where they gave information to 100 people. They also shared information with three classrooms at Cretin Durham Hall High School on waste and toxicity reduction. Information on the project was also shared with all the schools that participate in the Eco Education program. The program will be an ongoing part of the school’s curriculum, and a Peer Educator component is being planned so that older students can teach younger students about these waste reduction issues.