Seventy-four Oregon Green Schools from across the state sent delegations of students, teachers, and recycling educators to the Green Schools Summit in Eugene on March 2nd. The one-day conference was an opportunity for schools to learn, share and celebrate their waste reduction and resource conservation successes. With more than 400 enthusiastic attendees, this was our largest Summit to date!
Each school group brought a school display touting their school program, and regional exhibitors were on hand throughout the day to provide resources for greater resource conservation. This year’s “Global Perspective” theme focused on sustainable efforts around the world and how each personal choice affects the global community.
Students attended educational sessions taught by resource conservation enthusiasts, both volunteer and professional. Student favorites included the Oregon Green School showcase, paper-making, waste audits, worm bin composting, recycled crafting, Watt Watchers “Attract to Zap” program, Earth Tub composting program and school gardens.
Adult sessions centered on global warming, maximizing school recycling,
creating school gardens, current Oregon bottle bill legislation, sustainable food choices, and roundtable discussions for teens and adults. Adults were inspired by a walking tour of nearby Cesar Chavez Elementary/Family School.
Special thanks also go to all of the Oregon Green School Coordinators who lent a hand organizing and staffing the event. Special efforts were made to keep this a low-waste event: breakfast and lunch were served using fully biodegradable plates and all food waste, utensils and soiled paper were composted after the event, allowing participants to see zero waste and sustainable principles in action.
MANY THANKS to our generous sponsors! School waste and recycling haulers covered the cost of teacher substitutes and transportation. Other generous sponsors, including Weyerhaeuser, covered the costs of food, materials, entertainment, volunteer t-shirts and more!
The finale – EarthCapades Environmental Vaudeville – reinforced the Summit’s sustainability message with fun and education. Door prizes donated by coordinators, exhibitors and summit sponsors were awarded, and everyone got to take home a yo-yo made from recycled plastic.