Welcome to San Diego Unified's
Recycling & Zero Waste Newsletter
**SPRING 2021 Edition**
Welcome to the Spring 2021 edition of the Recycling & Zero Waste newsletter for San Diego Unified teachers, staff, students, parents, and volunteers!  Well, this school year is like no other, and many students and teachers are still participating in distance learning. At the same time, scores of District staff are working hard to get our campuses ready for re-opening.  In the middle of it all, we are thankful that our beautiful San Diego outdoors remains open for our enjoyment! 
Let’s celebrate Spring and Earth Month by enjoying our surroundings, while considering ways to protect and keep not only ourselves, but our environment safe, clean, and healthy. 
Check out the resources and information in this newsletter to give you ideas and inspiration!
  • Recycling and Earth Day Challenges
  • One Earth Film Festival March 5-14 
  • Focus on Climate
  • Focus on Plastics
  • Earth Month & Earth Day Resources
Visit our Website
From Keep California Beautiful
The statewide K-12 Recycling Challenge has been held annually over the last five years to promote and encourage recycling. Over the last several years, a number of SDUSD schools have been winners in various recycling categories of the competition.  For 2021, KCB is not conducting the in-school recycling competition, but is offering the following categories:
1. Recycling Art Contest
2. Video Contest
3. Environmental App Litter Assessment
Registration deadline is March 1st and submittals are due by March 22nd. For more information on the Challenge and how to participate, visit https://greencaschools.org/.

Starting March 8th - For High School Students

Take action to protect our planet and communities by joining the Energize Schools’ 2021 Earth Day Challenge! Starting March 8th, we are launching weekly challenges that explore the sustainability areas of waste, water, transportation, and energy. Through interactive online games and action planning, California high school students are encouraged to reduce their own environmental impact and create sustainable behavior change campaigns to inspire others.

Click HERE for more information and to register!

March 5th - 14th 

One Earth Film Festival celebrates their 10th year and this year the event will be 100% VIRTUAL and expanding from a Chicago-area event to a worldwide event. The festival’s theme is “10 Years of Inspiring Change” and you can join in from March 5-14.
Choose from more than 25 outstanding short and feature-length films that shine a light on the most important issues of our time.  Learn about solutions and actions to address climate, environmental justice, conservation, waste, and more.  Watch online and participate in filmmaker and expert Q&As.
Some films are free to watch and some require purchase of a ticket.  The Youth & Family Programs are Free!  Note that film screening times are in Central Time Zone.


SDUSD Student Solutions

Muirlands’ United Students Climate Action is a social justice club that meets via Zoom on Fridays to discuss ways to promote climate awareness among students.  Because the pandemic did not allow them to meet in person and work on a bottle cap mural project, they developed a fantastic climate awareness website to spread the word.  According to their Club website, their goal is to “inform about current climate change facts, programs for saving endangered species, what you can do to reduce climate change, and more!  Check it out at: climateaction.earth!


The Student Equity Ambassadors’ mission is to provide a voice for the students in our school district. Made up of high school students, their voices and ideas start district and community conversations that lead to solutions and changes that benefit all San Diego Unified School District students and families.
Several current Student Equity Ambassadors have a passion for sharing about climate change.  They proposed several ways to educate students about this important topic:
  1. Do a lab
  2. Show a movie
    2016 documentary Before the Flood
    2006 film An Inconvenient Truth and its 2017 sequel, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
  3. Assgin a novel
  4. Do a service project
    - Beach clean-up
    - Park clean-up
    *Try the Litterati app to help eradicate litter
    *Contact I Love A Clean San Diego to join in on community clean-ups (how about the Creek to Bay Cleanup on April 24th?), or get more information on volunteer opportunities
  5.  Start or work in a school garden
      - Make natural compost
      - Grow different types of fruits and vegetables
    *Contact the District’s Farm to School Specialist, Janelle Manzano at jmanzano@sandi.net, for help with school gardens, as well as the District’s Recycling Specialist, Janet Whited, at jwhited@sandi.net, for composting help!
  6. Bring in conservationists and other experts
    - Go more in depth with students about the specific effects of climate change
    - Physical demonstrations
    The City offers a climate-focused activity book for youth, hoping to inspire creativity and teach kids about our environment.  The 20-page activity book is available for download in English and Spanish.
    The prolific use of plastic is all around us and the issue of plastic pollution on humans, animals, waterways, the ocean, and the environment is of grave concern.  Together, we can make positive changes to reduce plastic pollution.

    Plastic Tides 5 simple ways to ditch plastic now!
    Host a virtual screening of MICROPLASTIC MADNESS for students, teachers, and families (ages 8+).  *This film is also being screened at the One Earth Film Festival on Sunday, March 14th.
    Microplastic Madness is the story of 56 fifth graders from Red Hook, Brooklyn -- living on the frontline of the climate crisis -- whose actions on plastic pollution morph into extraordinary leadership and scalable victories. Created to inspire kids, teachers, and policy makers alike, this is the spark needed to grow a youth-led Plastic Free Future movement in schools everywhere. 
    Click HERE to watch the trailer, find teacher resources, and learn about the movie impact campaign.
    Movie is 1 hour and 15 minutes and FREE for Title One schools.

    The Last Plastic Straw is a project of Plastic Pollution Coalition. Did you know? Over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States. In only the past twenty years, people have come to expect plastic straws in every drink, in an example of extreme waste being generated for minimal convenience. These short-lived tools are usually dropped into a garbage can with no further thought, instantly becoming a source of plastic pollution. 

    The innovative Trash Academy videos by 5 Gyres Institute teach about the history of plastic and what we can all do now to foster a cleaner planet and a plastic-free tomorrow. 5 Gyres is a leader in the global movement against plastic pollution whose team conducts research on plastic pollution around the world. Their community outreach and citizen science programs help them create data-driven solutions to the plastic problem.


    How can you celebrate Earth Day 2021? Let us count the ways… Check out the opportunities and resources at https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2021/
    Thinking about the Earth shouldn’t be limited to a single day. So… just in time for Earth Month, here’s some fun Earth Day activities to get kids interested in the environment every day!
     Check out these Earth Month activities for students and adults from Parade.com.
    For more Earth Day ideas, visit Project Learning Tree’s Earth Day 2021 website!
    Visit our website to see more ways to celebrate!
    Don't Forget How to Recycle Right!
    • Recycle clean items: Make sure bottles, cans, paper, cardboard, and plastic containers are relatively clean (i.e. no food, no liquids, no yuck!).   Empty and rinse appropriate items if possible.
       - Fact:  There have been significant changes to global markets where many recyclables from the United States are sold to make new products.  Sometimes items that were recyclable in a program may no longer have a buyer for them, so the items cannot continue to be collected.  Whenever possible, use reusable items to cut down on items that even have to be recycled or thrown away.
    • Recycle plastics by shape: bottles, jars, jugs, tubs, and trays. These are “rigid” plastics.
      - Fact:
       The "chasing arrows" symbol on a product doesn't necessarily mean the item is recyclable at school or at home in San Diego.  Many single-use and other plastic items are made of hard to recycle plastic and can’t be put in recycling bins.
    Check out what can be recycled at school and at home!
    powered by emma