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According to our most recent beach cleanup along the shores of Lake Erie, on Sept. 16, 2017, over 800 plastic straws where collected in just 3 hours! Many of our families attended this cleanup and are well-aware of the plastic straw dilemma. In addition, Kids for Positive Change Educator and Founder, Camille Licate, facilitated individual classroom programs about sharks, sea turtles and marine ecosystems to our 562, 4th and 5th grade students, in early September 2017. During this program, students learned how plastic straws, bags, bottles and balloons negatively impact marine life, and, more importantly, how what happens on the shores of Lake Erie can impact the Atlantic Ocean. Currently, students are working in Think Tank Teams and are researching marine species, the problems they are facing and coming up with plans of action to help the species. Some of our TTT are specifically focused on plastic pollution in our oceans, with a focus on plastic straws. We are implementing a plan of action, developed by one of our Think Tank Teams: This Plan of Action involves creating fact sheets about plastic straws and the negative impacts they have on marine life and visiting every local restaurant to "pitch" the "So Long Straw Campaign." Using raffle tickets, students will explain to restaurant owners and the city council, how patrons who opt out of a plastic straw will receive a raffle ticket. Once a week, there will be a drawing, and a patron can win a free drink, dessert or appetizer. For patrons that prefer a straw, another local organization, LEADERship Ashtabula County, has offered to donate paper straws to all local restaurants. Our "next steps" involve a meeting with the City Manager to put the plan of action in motion. Students will begin to create information sheets and flyers and practice how they will pitch the campaign to restaurant owners. We will have the students call the restaurant owners and set up a time to speak. Then, we will accompany a few students to the meetings. Our goal is to have the campaign in place, with the raffle ticket incentive, by or before January 2018, We will also film the students during the phases of this campaign and create a short video to share with our community and social media. Our goal with this video is to inspire other students to take action in their communities too!
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We would like to develop a series of presentations around environmental justice issues, such as climate change, alternative energy, and food justice. We feel that our community is not as knowledgeable about these serious issues.
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The DMS Green Team will build a compost bin, begin collecting food waste from the cafeteria, place the food waste (along with dried leaves and grass) in the bin, work the piles of waste until it becomes compost, and then apply the compost to our vegetable and native plant gardens. Students will track the amount of food waste coming from the cafeteria to the compost bin, measure the volume and temperature during the composting process, then be a part of applying the compost to the gardens.
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We will launch a true RRR program in our school and community. We will conduct a year long campaign to reduce waste in our school and carry that to our homes and local businesses.
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We will be measuring the amount of compost that is produced every week and track the usage of compost over time. We also hope to survey students on whether they actually use the composting bins that we have implemented. Finally, as a last measure, we will do soil testing through our AP Environmental Science class to see whether the composting regions are more nutrient rich.
United States
My goal is to have at least 20 recycling bins in Prospect Park. (10 paper and 10 plastic and glass)
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We would like to help remedy poor soil quality by providing nutrients back into the soil through adding worms and compost. Adding Earthworms into our garden soil will help decompose dead organisms and increase the quality of the soil. Composting will also help our school be more sustainable.
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Starting with my own clothes, mostly outgrown pants (soft material), my sister and I will turn them into pillows that can be used by cancer treatment centers or even the humane society. Whether people in a cancer treatment chair or an animal in a humane society kennel, they deserve to be comfortable. We are learning how to reuse our old clothes, learning how to sew, and learning how to give and bring smiles to others. We are even attaching a hand written inspirational message to the ones going to the cancer center.
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Pups and Cupcakes are hosting a Puppy and Cat coat/supplies drive. We are requesting Hair Products, dog/cat food, grooming kits, warm pet coats and sweaters. Item collected will be distributed to families and our local ASPCA.
Belgium
I will give talks to high school students and university students.

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