Cesar Chavez Elementary, Eugene

Green 2009

Merit 2010

Premier 4/5/2011 – 4/5/2014

Chavez Elementary School As an Oregon Green School, Chavez Elementary is committed to making the most efficient use of our natural resources, as well as, practicing sound waste reduction and conservation methods (reusing, recycling and composting). We strive to buy recycled materials whenever possible, provide school wide recycling opportunities, including commingling, battery, ink cartridge, glue sticks and glass recycling. We reuse envelopes and single sided paper. We participate in school wide composting and use our compost on our school gardens. We expect all students and staff to model the school’s waste reduction efforts.

As our school has progressed through the levels of Green School status, staff and student involvement has increased and attitudes about wastefulness have changed. Our staff fully supports our eco-conscious practices and has been willing to learn and chip in, which has increased student interest and the success of our program. We have gone from one adult and a couple of kids doing this important work to a building full of aware worker bees working to embrace green practices to help our building community reach the highest level of Green School Status. It has been a rewarding and meaningful journey. We are proud to say that at the writing of this summary, we are the first elementary school in School District 4J to reach the Premiere Green School level. We currently have a Staff Green team with representation by all grade levels K-5, administration and classified staff. We meet once a month to discuss our goals and progress. We have a student green team called “ Eco-leaders” of over 30 4th and 5th graders. Ecoleaders are responsible for cafeteria composting, breakfast compost pickup, commingle recycle pickup and training students/ staff K-5 on green practices with individual classroom presentations. Eco-leaders meet every other Friday during their lunch to review green practices, talk about the schedule, make posters, etc. At this time, our 4th graders are stewards of our school vegetable garden.

Here is a snapshot of what Chavez Elementary’s green Practices:

• School wide commingle recycling with Sanipac containers in all wings

• School wide classroom breakfast/snack and cafeteria lunch composting system

• Classroom compost and recycling pickup by Eco-leaders

• “Museum of the Un-recyclable” each year in our media center to give a visual to all that pass

• Recycling and composting at school sponsered events and trainings held in our building

• A large school vegetable garden with an expansion under way to accommodate the amount of compost we create and so K-5 can have a garden learning experience

• Native species garden on site

• Classroom compost and recycling SMARTboard presentations by Eco-leaders

• Composting Keynote Presentation by 4 Eco-leaders at the 2009 Green School summit

• Idle free zone

• BIKEWALK day every October

• Twice yearly waste audits done by Eco-leaders to share data with staff, students and families

• Paperless staff communication, meeting minutes, calendar share, agendas

• A newer building with self-flushing toilets, sensor faucets and hand dryers, light sensors, energy efficent CFU bulbs and full spectrum lighting

• Use ½ the lighting available in our building, relying on natural light whenever possible

• Drip srinkler system in our school garden

• Compostable napkins, reusable lunch trays and reusable forks/spoons

• Styrofoam free building

• Recycle ink cartridges, glue sticks, cardboard, batteries, glass

• Reuse single sided paper, envelopes

• Recycled art project every year

• Earth Month every April focusing on community service projects and sustainability

• Various Field trips across the grade levels to places like Short Mountain (dump), BRING recycling, HOPE in Action conference, Green School summit, Nearby Nature and West Eugene Wetlands

• Green tips to Save your Green in newletters, staff emails and weekly announcements

• Signage reminders of how to conserve energy and water as well as the 3R’s

• Clothing drive each year

• Regular “Green” building tours available (we do about 4 a year)

• Reusable stainless steel water bottles for all staff members

• Coffee travel mug check out for those quick trips to the local coffee establishment

• Weekly “grab” table in the staff room to share unwanted materials, etc.

It takes a whole village to Green a school…thanks to our Partnerships with School Garden Project of Lane County, Partners for Sustainable Schools, Oregon Green Schools, OSU Master Composter Program, Northwest Youth Corp, Americorp and United way, U of O Landscape Architecture program, Camas Education Network, Youth Grow and Sanipac.