To the Rescue! 4th Grade Students Research Solutions to Make CGPS More Environmentally Friendly

Students in the 4th grade came together for a very big project: to brainstorm ways in which CGPS could be a more environmentally-friendly place. After students learned about waste in their environmental science classes, they thought the best way to put their lessons into action was to start somewhere close to home. Read below for a summary of the plans each class developed: 

Class 4C

Class 4C created an action plan which involved identifying overuse of plastic at our school and trying to decrease its usage. We found that the average amount of plastic wrap used on one bagel was 115 square inches. 

The solution?

A reusable Portable Cake Carrier Storage Box can hold several bagels, keeping them fresh through the day so there would be no waste at the end of the day. 

4C came up with some other alternatives to plastic wrap, including beeswax wraps, silicone food bags and lids, LunchSkins and Plate Toppers.

Class 4D

With a focus on greenhouse gas emissions, 4D decided that the incandescent lights around school use a lot of energy and contribute to global warming. They suggest we use an alternative.

The solution?

LED lights are a cost-effective switch from incandescent lights that also is environmentally sound. While LED lights cost about $7 more per bulb, down the road, CGPS would save way more money than we would with incandescent lights. An average lifespan of an LED. light bulb is 25,000 hours (that is about 15-20 years). LED lights only use 10 watts while incandescent lights use 60 watts. If you have LED lights for 23 years you would only spend $8, unlike incandescent lights which would cost you $21.

In April, 4D will be selling 60-watt soft white LED lights, 1 LED bulb for $1.75 and 2 for $3.00.

Class 4E

4E identified plastic waste as one of the biggest problems at the school. Most of the students use plastic utensils in the cafeteria — unfortunately, plastic never decomposes and sometimes doesn’t even make it to landfills to be broken down properly. 

The solution?

Class 4E did a utensil collection for one day to see how many utensils are used in the Grammar School. 4E found that 924 utensils were used in one day. That’s 4,620 in a week and 170,940 in one school year! One solution could be purchasing silverware to replace the plastic utensils.

 

Class 4A

4A considered how ultra-processed foods create health problems like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, gum disease and stroke. They are usually on-hand and ready-to-eat — but they should only be eaten in moderation. Most ultra-processed foods have a lot of added sugar, artificial sweeteners and food coloring. 4A wanted to find an alternative to sweet treats.

The solution?

Billy, the hot dog cart vendor on the school block, often gives students free lollipops after a sale. 4A gave Billy a mystery box full of stickers, pencils and stamps to give to kids instead for a two-month supply of giveaways. 4A wanted to give one of their community members the opportunity to make a healthier decision once he was given a new option

Class 4B

4B also focused on ultra-processed foods, but their solution was different. Students used Webquest, a website developed by Grammar School science teachers Stephanie Avena and Christopher McLaughlin, to help the students research their topic. 

The solution?

A cookbook comprised of kid-friendly foods!