Celebrate Earth Month!
Celebrate Earth Month!
Welcome to San Diego Unified's
Recycling & Zero Waste Newsletter
**April 2022 "Earth Month" Edition**
Welcome to the April "Earth Month" 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 Winners Announced!
  • Teaching & Learning: Earth Month & Beyond
  • More Opportunities & Resources: Creek-to-Bay Cleanup, SD Earth Fair, and more!
  • Grants/Contests/Challenges/Awards: Children's Climate Prize
  • April Dates to Celebrate
  • Environmental Education Resources
  • Other Resources
Visit our Earth Month Site


To help reduce waste, comply with state and local laws, and increase recycling awareness at our schools, the District teamed up with our waste and recycling service provider, Republic Services, for the 2021/22 SDUSD Recycling Challenge. 
The following schools accumulated the most points for their waste diversion and environmental education and outreach efforts and are the WINNERS in this year's Recycling Challenge.  Congratulations!
For more information on the winners and how YOUR school ranked in the Challenge, click the button below.
Recycling Challenge

Patrick Henry High School - 1st Place

High School Category

Waste Diversion:  60%
# of Students:  2,556
Trash Generated per Student/Month:  1.37 cubic feet

Special Recognition for Campus Sustainability:  Environmental Club, PHHS Surfrider Club, Aquaponics Club, Thrift Store Club, & Garden Club. Supported by: Cathy Murphy, Plant Operations Supervisor; Community Service Club, Key Club, and ASB Environmental Commissioner

Learn more about Patrick Henry High's sustainability efforts at the link below!
Henry High Sustainability

Mira Mesa High School - Runner-Up

High School Category

Waste Diversion:  52.6%
# of Students:  2,303
Trash Generated per Student/Month:  2.74 cubic feet

Special Recognition for Campus Sustainability:  Dustin Lanigan, Plant Operations Supervisor; Custodial team; Air Force JROTC
Find out more about MMHS's recycling efforts below!
Mira Mesa High Sustainability

Standley Middle School - 1st Place

Middle School Category

Waste Diversion:  60%
# of Students:  818
Trash Generated per Student/Month:  2.57 cubic feet

Special Recognition for Campus Sustainability:  Student Green Team; Ms. Shelley Rannikko, Green Team Advisor
Read more about Standley Middle's sustainability efforts below!
Standley Middle Sustainability

Knox Middle School - Runner-Up

Middle School Category

Waste Diversion:  60%
# of Students:  570
Trash Generated per Student/Month:  3.69 cubic feet

Special Recognition for Campus Sustainability:  6th Graders (Stellar Recyclers); Nicholaus Roth, Building Services Supervisor
Find out more about Knox Middle's recycling efforts below!
Knox Middle Sustainability

Sandburg Elementary School - 1st Place

Elementary/K-8 School Category

Waste Diversion: 80%
# of Students: 488
Trash Generated per Student/Month: 0.72 cubic feet

Special Recognition for Campus Sustainability: Green Team students; Clyde Smith, Building Services Supervisor; Principal Lindsay Burningham
Find out more about Sandburg Elementary's efforts below!
Sandburg Elementary Recycles

Marvin Elementary School - Runner-Up

Elementary/K-8 School Category

Waste Diversion:  60%
# of Students:  509
Trash Generated per Student/Month:  1.38 cubic feet

Special Recognition for Campus Sustainability:  Student Green Team; Diana Foss, Building Services Supervisor
Check out more information on Marvin Elementary's recycling efforts!
Marvin Elementary Recycles!

Pacific View Leadership Elementary School

Most Improved Category

Waste Diversion:  50% - Up from 40% at the beginning of the school year
# of Students:  238
Trash Generated per Student/Month:  5.78 cubic feet

Special Recognition for Campus Sustainability: Maria Cerda, Teacher and Recycling Club Advisor; Recycling Club students
Read more about PVLE's efforts to increase recycling over the school year!
PVLE Recycles!

April is Earth Month at SDUSD, with Earth Day celebrated every year on April 22nd. Even though we dedicate this month and April 22nd to focus on our planet and how we can protect it, the saying is true, "Make every day Earth Day" if we want our planet to remain healthy and sustain life. Read on for ways to make a difference and to celebrate! 
Check out more ways to celebrate HERE.


EarthDay.org's Earth Day 2022 Theme is Invest In Our Planet. What Will You Do? Check out their website to find information on Earth Day events, activities, and what individuals and organizations can do to make a difference.  Find 52 actions and tips to make a difference every day HERE.


How much do you know about Earth?  Here are some fun ways to learn more about our planet - its species, its resources, and its threats.

Earth Day Kahoots - ready made classroom Kahoot! games
Earthday.org Quizzes - from upcycled food to whale conservation, students will enjoy these sustainability themed quizzes.
National Geographic Kids - kids can take this quiz to see how green they are

Earth Day Fun!

Kids Gardening has 29 great activities to celebrate Earth Day, whether you want to engage kids in observation, action, or spreading the word about the importance of caring for the planet.
Activities include:  Grow your own salad; Make a seed ball; Create a garden art box; and many more ideas!


Earth Month & Beyond: Environmental Education

TED-Ed's Earth School

TED-Ed has collaborated with the UN Environment Programme to develop Earth School,  "Your one-stop-shop for celebrating our planet, and understanding what we need to do to save it."

Take climate quizzes and build a personalized learning library. Each lesson has been selected to help build an understanding of how our planet works and exactly what it’s going to take to save it. Complete any 30 lessons to earn a certificate.  Learn more HERE.

Turning Green Classroom
Turning Green Classroom offers eco-learning for middle and high school students and teachers with 25 simple, fun, impactful themed activities. Their goal is for students to become informed, inspired and mobilized, as well as innovate, co-create and work to heal and sustain people and planet. Even in the face of uncertainty, everyone can connect to take bold action for change! 

Think Earth Curriculum

Environmental literacy is more important than ever. Teach your elementary students how they can contribute to a healthy environment with the Think Earth Curriculum.  It's FREE!

Each grade-level unit includes videos, songs, posters, student pages, and a teacher’s guide packed with activities.
Learn more HERE.

Make Earth Day Every Day (Grades 3-5)

Free Livestream for Students presented by California Academy of Sciences
Friday, April 22, 2022
9:45 am for presentation in English

How can we support Earth by understanding, respecting and protecting Earth's amazing ecosystems? What can we learn from Indigenous Peoples as they connect with nature today, both culturally and through their traditional ecological knowledge?

This program lasts approximately 45 minutes, is taught by a team of professional educators, and is broadcast to multiple classes at the same time via YouTube Live. The session is designed for grades 3-5, but all are welcome.
Find out more HERE!

Registration will close at 12pm on Thursday, April 14, 2022.

Eco-Schools USA

ECO-Schools USA is a great way to get started or build your sustainability programs within your school. The environmental focus areas are wonderful tools that your student-led Eco-Action Teams can use to address school sustainability.
There are twelve Pathways to Sustainability that your students can choose from! Learn more HERE.


National Healthy Schools Day Virtual Summit - April 5-6, 2022
Register for the FREE National Healthy Schools Summit 2022: COVID, CLIMATE, CHILDREN AND SCHOOLS - Focus on Climate.
Click HERE for more information.

A Teacher Call to Action for Environmental Literacy

April 7, 2022, 3:30 PM

Educators want to support students in understanding their place in the world and taking action for their communities. Explore a three-part publication developed for educators, which focuses on the imperative for environmental literacy, showcases voices from the field, and includes a roadmap for including environmental literacy in TK-12 classrooms. Register 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. 

April 8 @ 11:00 a.m PT: Passive House & Schools
CLICK HERE for more info!

Climate Change Task Force - 2022 World Youth Conference - April 22nd

Climate Change Task Force is a youth-led nonprofit organization dedicated to uniting the global youth in the fight against climate change.
The 2022 World Youth Conference is taking place on April 22, 2022 and will feature guest speakers from Stanford University, vegan chefs, and young climate activists from around the world.  If interested, please RSVP HERE.  

Creek to Bay Cleanup - April 23rd
The annual Creek to Bay Cleanup is the largest environmental cleanup in San Diego County during Earth Week and 2022 marks its 20th Anniversary! 

Join thousands of volunteers, coordinated through I Love A Clean San Diego, to help reach 3 million pounds of litter collected since the event began.

Find out more HERE.

San Diego EarthFair 2022 - April 24th
Join thousands of visitors for EarthFair 2022 in beautiful Balboa Park, on Sunday, April 24th from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. There's food, fun, exhibits, and more!

Find out more HERE.

Stop Food Waste Day - April 27th

Stop Food Waste Day, on April 27th, 2022, is an international day of action in the fight against food waste.

Here you’ll find suggestions on how to get involved, as well as downloadable resources to help raise awareness and inspire change about this global issue.


Children's Climate Prize
The Children's Climate Prize is an international prize annually awarded to young people taking actions to make a positive impact on the climate or environment. The prize celebrates and sheds light on young innovators, entrepreneurs and change makers in order to spread hope and inspire. The finalists and winner of the Prize are celebrated at a prize ceremony event in Stockholm, Sweden. The winner receives a diploma, a medal and 10 000 Euro to continue developing his/her project further.

Nominations are accepted from all over the world. You must be between the ages of 12-17 and submit a nomination form by May 15, 2022. Learn more


April 3: World Aquatic Animal Day
April 5: National Healthy Schools Day
April 16: Save the Elephant Day
April 22: Earth Day!
April 27: Stop Food Waste 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.
National Environmental Education Foundation - Full of resources for educators, including this list: Environmental Education Resources
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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