Celebrate Biodiversity!
Celebrate Biodiversity!
Welcome to San Diego Unified's
Recycling & Zero Waste Newsletter
**May/June 2022 Edition**
Welcome to the May/June 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!
  • Teaching & Learning:  NatGeo Kids on Biodiversity; Free biodiversity science lessons
  • More Opportunities & Resources: End of Year Locker Clean-out; Recycling videos; Compost Awareness Week; and More!
  • Grants/Contests/Challenges/Awards: Check back in September!
  • May/June Dates to Celebrate
  • Environmental Education Resources
  • Other Resources
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Biodiversity refers to the variety of living species on Earth, including plants, animals, bacteria, and fungi. While Earth’s biodiversity is so rich that many species have yet to be discovered, many species are being threatened with extinction due to human activities, putting the Earth’s magnificent biodiversity at risk. - National Geographic

Learn About Biodiversity

Our planet’s diverse, thriving ecosystems may seem like permanent fixtures, but they’re actually vulnerable to collapse. What makes one ecosystem strong and another weak in the face of change? This TEDEd video details why the answer, to a large extent, is biodiversity.

U.N. International Day for Biological Diversity

Learn more about Biodiversity Day celebrated on May 22nd every year!  Help out by checking out 22 Actions For Biodiversity Anyone Can Do.



Declining Diversity

Plants and animals depend on each other for survival. Find out why this biodiversity is so important—and why it's in trouble.  Check out NatGeo Kids for info and inspiration!

Hands-On Lessons to Teach About Biodiversity

Check out the free STEM lessons and activities to help students learn about habitats, ecosystems, biomes, and conditions that can threaten biodiversity, including invasive species, climate change, and human interference. 
Learn more HERE.

End of Year Recycling Resources

Clean out lockers and classrooms responsibly!  Watch fun recycling videos with your class!

Host a Green Locker Clean-Out!

Re-use, Recycle, and Donate! Check out these Green Locker Clean-out guides for ideas to reduce waste at the end of the school year.

Locker Clean-Out Guide from Seven Generations Ahead (Illinois) 
StopWaste.org’s Locker Leftover Guide  

Teachers:  Don't forget to make preparations to reuse, repurpose, and recycle unwanted items at the end of the year!  Offer reusable items to other teachers at your school, post them on the District's Classified Ads and Supply Exchange (District access only) , or donate them to local thrift stores or non-profits. 

Click HERE for the flier.
Best Recycling Videos
Make end-of-year recycling fun for students! Check out these Creative, Must-See Videos to Promote Recycling at School.
EPA's Recycle City Online Learning Platform
Recycle City’s web-based games and activities – newly updated – engage students on environmental topics including waste reduction, environmental justice, and energy conservation. The games teach students about doing simple things at home, at school, and in their neighborhoods that make a difference.

Students on the Recycle City website can learn how City “residents” established a Zero Waste goal to reduce waste and improve the health of the community while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The newly updated site includes electric vehicles and an anaerobic digester that turns food waste into renewable energy.

Recycle City: https://www3.epa.gov/recyclecity/index.htm 


International Compost Awareness Week:  May 1-7, 2022
This is the largest education initiative of the compost industry and is celebrated nationwide with a poster contest, tours of compost facilities, school gardening programs, compost workshops, and more. ICAW's goal is to work together to raise public awareness on why we should all be recycling our organics and using compost. 

Click HERE for more information.

Strategic Energy Innovation: Sustainable Enterprise High School Teacher Training*

May 12, 2022, 4:00PM - 6:00PM (Virtual)

This teacher training introduces the concept of sustainable enterprise and explores how to achieve a good life for all within the limits of planetary boundaries. Through this curriculum, students learn to identify and evaluate sustainable enterprises, and gain skills directly applicable to starting or contributing to a sustainable business. In this 2 hour training, instructors will be provided with the tools and resources to integrate SEI's Sustainable Enterprise curriculum into their own classrooms. This training will be led by staff from SEI, an environmental nonprofit that builds leaders to drive sustainability solutions.

Register:  HERE  

*All high school teachers in California are eligible to attend at no cost

Plastic Free Lunch Day - May 16th
Take climiate action in your cafeteria! Join New York City schools and schools everywhere to join the action to reduce plastic waste from school and home.

According to Cafeteria Culture, Plastic Free Lunch Day is:
-  A lunch period with as few plastic items as possible
-  A step towards eliminating all cafeteria single-use plastic
-  School lunches prepared without plastic packaging, wrapping, etc. on that day

Click HERE to watch the video.
Clck HERE for more information.


- Lunch from home:  Bring re-usable containers and bags, instead of disposable plastic bags, individually wrapped items, etc.

- Lunch at school:  Only take plastic utensils if you need them for the meal

Summer Teacher Workshops

Check out the summer teacher workshops on teaching climate change and more through California Academy of Sciences.

 Find out more HERE.


Please check back in September!

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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