SDUSD Recycling Challenge Award Nomination Form Due Soon!
SDUSD Recycling Challenge Award Nomination Form Due Soon!
Welcome to San Diego Unified's
Recycling & Zero Waste Newsletter
**February 2022 Edition**
Welcome to the February 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 Award Nomination Form:  DUE March 1st!
  • FOCUS on Plastic Reduction
  • Teaching & Learning: Plastic Pollution Teaching Resources
  • Grants/Contests/Other Opportunities
  • February Dates to Celebrate
  • Environmental Education Resources
  • Other Resources
Visit our Website


Award Nomination Form: DUE March 1st!
Don't forget, the SDUSD Recycling Challenge runs through March 1, 2022. Please submit your Award Nomination Form (information above) so your efforts can be recognized and calculated towards the award totals!
This school year has been somewhat challenging for many, but any and all efforts towards promoting recycling and sustainability on your campus should not go unnoticed!  Please submit your Award Nomination Form by end-of-day on March 1st. 

Award Nomination QR Code

Scan this QR Code to access the Award Nomination Form on your smartphone!


Kick the Plastic Habit!

In some areas of the world this month marks a campaign for a Plastic Free February.  Here at SDUSD, why not gain momentum into this New Year by changing our plastic habit at school and at home?

Did you know that more plastic has been produced over the last 10 years than in the last century and 50% of it is only used once then thrown away? Studies show more than one million plastic bags are used every minute, totaling 500 billion plastic bags worldwide!  How can we make a dent in this mountain of plastic?

Let’s Rethink, Refuse, and Reuse!  Then Recycle!
Credit:  Iinformation for the Focus on Plastic articles was adapted from Sustain DCSD, Colorado


  • Make at least one change to your plastic consumption habits
  • Use reusable shopping bags, produce bags, and boxes
  • Buy in bulk – use re-usable glass containers to store your bulk food items
  • Identify other disposable plastic alternatives you can use that have more than a one-time use
  • Recycle correctly at school and at home:  Remember to recycle bottles, tubs, and jugs
  • Recycle soft plastics (grocery store bags, one time use bags, dry cleaning bags, etc.) at your local store. Please do not mix in with single-stream recycling programs at school or at home.

How to Reduce Plastic Pollution: Recycle Film Plastic

Bring your soft plastics (film plastic) to your local store for recycling. Decking companies utilize the plastic bags to create decking, benches and other outdoor equipment. 

Learn more HERE.

How to Reduce Plastic Pollution:
Reuse Containers - Buy in Bulk

You probably have a number of containers that can be reused to hold larger bulk purchases of various items.  Buying in bulk can be cheaper than purchasing items in smaller quantities and can help reduce your overall waste.  Learn more HERE.

How to Reduce Plastic Pollution: Choose to Refuse

Instead of using single-use plastic items, refuse them instead! Make it a choice to reduce plastic pollution and prevent it from entering our environment.  Learn more HERE.


Plastic Pollution 

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. 

February 11 @ 11:00 a.m PT: Calming the School Environment: Creating That Just Right Feeling   Click for more info or to register.
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. 
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

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.
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


February:  Black History Month
February 2: World Wetlands Day 
February 14:  Valentine's Day!
February 18-21:  SDUSD Celebrates Presidents' Day(s) - Enjoy the 4-day weekend!
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.

powered by emma