Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!
Welcome to San Diego Unified's
Recycling & Zero Waste Newsletter
**January 2022 Edition**
Welcome to the January 2022 edition of the Recycling & Zero Waste newsletter for San Diego Unified teachers, staff, students, parents, and volunteers!   

This newsletter is designed to provide information and updates to the SDUSD community regarding waste diversion, recycling, composting, funding opportunities, environmental education resources, and other relevant information.

Check out the resources and information in this newsletter to give you ideas and inspiration!
  • FOCUS on Paper Towel Waste Reduction
  • Holiday Tree Recycling
  • Please Share: What Environmental Programs Are You Doing at Your School?
  • Teaching & Learning: Natural Resources Bingo, Teacher Workshops, & More
  • Grants/Contests/Other Opportunities
  • January Dates to Celebrate
  • Environmental Education Resources
  • Other Resources
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Paper Towels: One & Done!

How to Reduce Paper Towel Use

With schools receiving multiple portable hand washing stations at the beginning of the school year to help students say healthy and safe, an unintended consequence has been a dramatic increase in paper towel waste.  With simple behavior changes, our students and staff can reduce paper towel use, which helps save trees, money, and the environment.

Why It’s Important to Reduce Paper Towel Use

Many of our youngest students don’t know that paper towels come from trees, and often grab two, three, or four paper towels to dry their hands after every wash.  Even though many older students and adults know where paper towels come from, they often don’t think twice about grabbing multiple towels to dry their hands.
Consider some of the sobering facts behind paper towel use:

- Around 20,000 gallons of water are polluted and 17 trees are cut down to make one ton of paper towels.

- In the U.S. alone, people use approximately 13 BILLION pounds of paper towels every year.

- We could save 285,600 trees each year if everyone in the U.S. used just one less paper towel per day.

- Some people think it’s OK to use multiple paper towels because they’ll eventually biodegrade, but they should think again. Decomposing paper towels can produce methane gas, which is a leading contributor to climate change.
What can we do to help?
Take the One Paper Towel Challenge!
Consider taking ONLY ONE paper towel to dry your hands after every wash. Follow the simple "Shake & Fold" method and share with your students:
1) Wash hands
2) Shake hands 12 times 
3) Grab ONE paper towel
4) Fold paper towel in half
5) Dry hands
Spread the word with your class and/or colleagues!  Print and post one of the signs below in restrooms and on paper towel dispensers, or better yet, have students design their own signs for your school!


Don't forget, the City of San Diego’s Christmas Tree Recycling Program runs from Dec. 26 – Jan. 23 for City residents only. There are multiple drop-off locations, as well as pick-up services for City of San Diego residential customers with greenery collection service. 


We would love to hear about your school's environmental programs and projects that your students are engaged in. As part of this year's SDUSD Recycling Challenge,  a Recycling Award Nomination Form is available that provides a way for you to share what your class or school is doing to educate and promote recycling, waste diversion, and/or sustainability on campus.
We'd love to showcase our schools on our website and in future newsletters! If you prefer to e-mail information on your projects and programs, or if you need help with implementation, please e-mail jwhited@sandi.net.


Check out these Resources 

California Academy of Sciences

Natural Resources Bingo

Appropriate for: 2nd Grade - 8th Grade
Standards for: 2nd Grade, 6th Grade
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Activity Time: 60 minutes
Subjects: Earth & Space Science, Life Science

What types of natural resources are used to make the objects we use in everyday life? After playing this bingo game, your students will be ready to categorize common things we throw in the trash according to the resource from which they are made.
School Building Science Fridays
Join the Collaborative for High Performance Schools on the 2nd Friday of each month to learn how the science behind school buildings supports student, educator, and staff health, safety, and success. 

January 14 @ 11:00 a.m PT: Zero Energy, Zero Carbon & Electrification: Possible and Happening!  Click for more info or to register.
Upcoming Teacher Workshops
The California Academy of Sciences has some upcoming workshops for the Spring semester:
Let's Go Outside! (Grades preK-3+)
Saturday, January 22 | Online workshop

In the schoolyard or at home, how can we help all young learners to engage with and learn from the world around them?

Exploring your Environment with Math and Science (Grades 3-5)
Saturday, March 19 | Online workshop

Science and math overlap in fascinating ways. But what does this actually mean for instruction? Join us to explore how students can think as mathematicians and scientists, bringing skills from both fields to figure things out about the natural world.

World-wide Teach-In Climate/Justice
On March 30, 2022, help mobilize half a million people,  in-person and online,  in a one-day WORLWIDE TEACH-IN on climate solutions and  justice in the transition. There are easy-to-organize models for teach-ins for colleges, universities, high school/middle school, K-6 and faith communities.  Engage hundreds of members of your campus and community in critical dialogue on just climate solutions. 
NEW! Keep California Beautiful: K-12 Challenge 2022 - The statewide K-12 Recycling Challenge has been held annually with great enthusiasm to promote and encourage recycling. The competition between schools has resulted in over 7.7 million pounds of recyclables collected in the past five years.  For 2022, there are three main challenge categories:

1)  Recycling Art Contest –Submit by March 31
2)  Keep CA Beautiful Video Contest - Submit by March 31
3)  Litter Analysis using KCB Environmental App - Completed by March 31

Results Announced:  April 22nd

NEW! Project Green Schools Outdoor Classroom Challenge - Project Green Schools is challenging schools across the country to develop and implement a meaningful outdoor classroom and learning space that awards one Grand Prize of $10,000 to further enhance an existing space or build a new space.  For more information, click HEREApplications Due: April 8, 2022

SDUSD Recycling Challenge Now through March 1, 2022 - Recycle & Win! - The annual Recycling Challenge encourages schools to divert as much as possible from landfill disposal through expanded recycling efforts, waste reduction, and education. Monetary prizes totaling $5,500 will be award to two schools in elementary, middle, and high school categories. For more information, click HEREThe Challenge runs from September 2021 – March 1, 2022.  Winners will be announced in April 2022.
K-12 Coastal Art & Poetry Contest - This contest is open to California residents in grades K-12. There are five grade categories for awards in both art and poetry: K-1, 2-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Entries must have a California coastal or ocean theme.  Click HERE for more information. Entries due by January 31, 2022
Earth X Eco-Art Competition: Artists ages 5-22 are encouraged to create a piece of art, either 2-D or 3-D, that illustrates the message of the theme:  Plant the Seed. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners! Deadline:  Jan. 24, 2022
PepsiCo Recycle Rally: If you want to collect more cans and bottles to earn money for your school then check out PepsiCo’s Recycle Rally for K-12 schools!  There are lots of resources for hosting a collection drive and fun ideas on how to inspire, boost awareness, educate, and more!.  On-going: For more information, click HERE


January 1: New Year's Day - Resolve to Go Green!
January 5: National Bird Day
Check out What's Available

California Academy of Sciences: Flipside Science -  Flipside Science is a youth-powered series that tackles complex environmental topics and empowers viewers to make a difference.

California EEI -The California Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI) is a part of a statewide effort to foster environmental literacy among California K-12 students. They provide educators with a free standards-based curriculum that teaches history and science through an environmental Lens.
California Environmental Literacy InitiativeThe California Environmental Literacy Initiative (CAELI), led by Ten Strands, works statewide with guidance from a leadership council to create systems change in support of environmental literacy with a focus on access, equity, and cultural relevance for all students.
Green Schools National Network - Check out the ideas and articles for tips, strategies, and resources for incorporating sustainability topics in K-12 curriculum.
The Nature Conservancy - Explore the world with the Nature Conservancy’s Virtual Field Trips. Designed for ages 9-15, but customizable for all ages, these videos allow students to travel the world and explore natural environments without leaving their home or classroom. Each field trip contains a video, teacher guide, and student activities that have a special focus on making the connection between what students see on the screen and taking action in their own cities and towns. 

Composting at San Diego Unified Schools - Best Practices
Check out Composting Best Practices for schools in San Diego Unified here. This helpful guide includes great information and resources about bringing composting programs to your school.
Nutrition Education Resources - San Diego Unified
Check out Food & Nutrition Services webpage here for videos, curricula, books, and links to help bring nutrition education to your classroom!
To sign up to receive the San Diego Unified Food & Nutrition Newsletter, click here.

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