Welcome to San Diego Unified's
Recycling & Zero Waste Newsletter
**March 2022 Edition**
Welcome to the March 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!
  • SDUSD Recycling Challenge Update
  • FOCUS on Litter Reduction: Trash Pirates, Keep America Beautiful 
  • Teaching & Learning: Litterati Teaching Resources
  • More Opportunities & Resources: One Earth Film Festival, Teacher Workshops, Food Waste Warriors curriculum in Spanish, and more!
  • Grants/Contests/Challenges/Awards: New! Project Green Schools Green Difference Awards
  • March Dates to Celebrate
  • Environmental Education Resources
  • Other Resources
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Thank you to all of the schools that submitted an Award Nomination Form by the deadline of March 1st as part of the SDUSD Recycling Challenge.  Total scores are being calculated and Winners will be announced in early April.  Good Luck!


Trash Pirates

What is litter? According to Wikipedia, litter consists of waste products that have been discarded incorrectly, without consent, at an unsuitable location. The Trash Pirates was started by a family passionate about their community and saddened by the amount of trash littered near their home. The Trash Pirates is a kid-focused movement teaching elementary age children and their families about the effects of litter on the environment, as well as educational material about climate change. It is their hope to not only educate but empower kids to get involved and help clean up their own communities and the world.

Check out their website for resources on litter cleanups, as well as printable worksheets about litter, our environment, and climate change topics.

Keep America Beautiful - End Littering!

In 2021, Keep America Beautiful released the largest study on litter in America. The Keep America Beautiful 2020 National Litter Study provides a detailed understanding of the quantity, composition, and sources of litter across the United States. 
Key findings include: 
  • Nearly 50 billion pieces of litter along U.S. roadways and waterways
  • 152 items for each U.S. resident (see next section for more info.!)
  • More than 2,000 pieces of litter per mile (both roadway and waterway)
  • 6 billion pieces more than four inches in size
  • Most littered item remains cigarette butts, but this litter is down almost 70%
  • 207.1M PPE items littered

    Click HERE for more information on litter statistics and prevention!

Share on Social!

Keep America Beautiful encourages all individuals to pick up 152 pieces of litter. Why 152? According to the latest Litter in America Study, if everyone made the individual action of picking up 152 pieces of litter (all at once) there would be no litter on the ground until someone littered again.

Join the 152 Challenge with Keep America Beautiful today. #152andYou 


Litter Reduction

Litterati is an app-based, data gathering company on a mission to create a litter-free world.  The idea is to capture litter through geo-tagged photos to make the problem measurable.
LitteratiED provides "free STEM based lesson plans to bring engaging, practical, and eco-friendly content to your curriculum."
  • Access free tech enabled lessons that help students learn more about their local environment.
  • Automatically collect, map, & visualize data so you can demonstrate your school’s impact.
  • Active, engaging, impactful activities for your students that can also incorporate data work and development work.

To find out more, click HERE, and watch the TED Talk below from Litterati's founder!


One Earth Film Festival: March 4-13, Virtual
Join One Earth Collective for the 11th annual One Earth Film Festival. This environmental film festival creates opportunities for understanding climate change, sustainability, and the power of human involvement. Inspiring and thought-provoking environmental films are followed by interactive post-film discussions focused on solutions. 

Seventeen virtual events will screen during the week of March 4-13. View the film schedule HERE.

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. 

March 11 @ 11:00 a.m PT: Drinking Water Safety and Overall Health, a presentation by the American Heart Association.  CLICK HERE for more info!
Upcoming Teacher Workshop
Exploring your Environment with Math and Science (Grades 3-5)
Saturday, March 19 | California Academy of Science - 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. 
Food Waste Warrior Toolkits now available in Spanish

The World Wildlife Foundation's Food Waste Warriors Toolkits are now available in Spanish! These helpful toolkits include K-12 lessons, activities, and resources organized by grade levels to teach the planetary impact of what we eat and what we throw away. In addition to the link above, the Spanish translations of these toolkits can be found on the Wild Classroom main page, along with several other great conservation teaching toolkits.

Too Good to Go Resources for Schools

The food recovery app, Too Good to Go seeks to inspire and empower everyone to take action against food waste. They developed a range of free educational tools and resources around food waste for schools with the goal to teach the next generation how to value resources and to protect the planet.
Classroom Clean-Out?
If you or someone in your school is moving rooms or cleaning out over Spring Break or at the end of the school year, don't forget to make preparations to reuse, repurpose, and recycle unwanted items!  Offer reusable items to other teachers at your school, post them on the District's Classified Ads and Supply Exchange, or donate them to local thrift stores or non-profits. 
Click HERE for the flier.


Applications are open for the Annual Project Green Schools Green Difference Awards!

Project Green Schools honors and recognizes Outstanding Energy, Environmental & STEAM Education efforts led in Schools & Communities across the country at their Annual Green Difference Awards.  Nominate a Green Difference Maker today in one of these categories:
  • Waste Management
  • Climate Education and Action
  • Energy
  • Food and Agriculture
  • And more!

    Learn More and Apply!

    Application deadline: Friday, March 25, 2022 at 11:59PM EST
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

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

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


March 11: Solar Appreciation Day
March 20-21:  Spring (Vernal) Equinox
March 22: World Water Day
March 26: Earth Hour (Last Saturday of March)
March 28 - April 1:  SPRING BREAK!  Enjoy!
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. Additional resources include:
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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