On Wednesday, December 5, Energy Corps members Leah Saffian and Erin Anderson at Boston Mountain Solid Waste/Washington County Environmental Affairs, gave a presentation to Root Elementary Green Team students about how to conduct a waste audit, in which they will participate on Friday, December 14th.
Erin began by asking the students what the word ‘waste’ actually means. At first, there were many giggles as ideas bounced around, but they were all ears by the time Leah got to the picture of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. “Would anyone like to go swimming in that?” Erin asked. Of course, no one raised their hand.
Following the presentation, educators and Green Team leaders Jacob Beers and Brady Carman escorted their students throughout the building to determine about how many trash cans versus recycling containers they had placed in the school. What they found is that there were approximately two trash cans for every recycling container.
After they returned, Leah posed the question of why there were so many more trash cans when the amount of recyclables is generally greater than the amount of trash we create. A couple of the responses included that “people didn’t think they mattered,” or that they were simply lazy.
Finally, the students wrapped things up by volunteering for sorting, weighing and recording duties.
Stay tuned for the follow-up story. . .
Leah Saffian is an artist and environmental educator for the Boston Mountain Solid Waste District. Before Fayetteville, Leah lived around the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex where she received her Bachelor’s from the University of Texas at Dallas, specializing in creative education that emphasizes hands-on learning. Leah is returning for her second year as an Energy Corps member. Waste audits, recycled art projects, and solid waste tours are just a few of the projects that she will be working on with the schools in Washington and Madison County.