The students involved in Operation Save the Planet focus their energies on helping their school think green by organizing recycling efforts and educating their classmates. Some of the projects that the group works on include:
- Oakwood works in partnership with Potluck Pick-Up, who provides full recycling bin service. This allows Oakwood to recycle plastics, glass, cardboard, cans, and paper. Bins located around the school and in the staff lounge are emptied by Save the Planet kids and consolidated for pick-up.
- Oakwood has joined the Terracycle movement that encourages people to “outsmart waste”! Terracycle uses recycled items to create new products such as bags and purses; an entire list of Terracycle products can be seen here. The items that Operation Save the Planet collects and recycles are: Capri Sun drink pouches, all Mars candy bar wrappers, all Frito Lay brand chip bags, zip lock baggies, scotch tape dispensers, used cell phones. The school receives about 2 cents per item collected, too!
- Students in the club have collaborated to create earth-awareness videos which are played throughout the school at various times of the year, and have also sold re-usable grocery bags in previous years.
- On Earth Day the club sponsors a “Zero Waste Lunch” to encourage kids to more closely monitor all that is thrown away.
This year, the group meets twice a month before school to better keep up with the sorting of recyclables, and despite being a smaller group than in years past, Mrs. Schroeder praises her students for their passion and dedication.
The most rewarding part of working with the students of Operation Save the Planet is to see the members become passionate about recycling and living a more green life. They start sharing ways they have encouraged their class to recycle more and ways they have helped their families make changes around their house to be more green.
Mrs. Schroeder went on to share a special story that highlights the zeal with which these students pursue their work with Operation Save the Planet:
…One year, Family Fare gave our club hundreds of brown grocery bags before Earth Day. Our members decorated the bags with Earth Day messages, reminding customers to recycle. We gave the decorated bags back to Family Fare to use at the store on Earth Day.
One of the girls in the club decorated several bags throughout the time we had for the project. Each day she would take a pile home, and bring them back beautifully decorated. After several days of this, I asked her if she was sure she wanted to take more home. She was insistent that every bag counted because even if it helped one person become more aware about recycling, it was worth it.
Moments like this remind me that even small things our club can do is worth it.
Thank you to all of the teachers who guide and mentor our earth-loving 4th and 5th graders, and thank you to the students who are making a difference!