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Grace Church School

Green Gremlins Attack e-Waste!

Grace Church School

Our goal

Our school-wide, school-year-long initiative is working to educate the community about e-Waste, take our school beyond city recycling, and help transform our computer and AV departments into those that use more energy efficient practices and Green Tech solutions. Through web research and environmental organizations for kids such as “DoSomething.org,” our team learned that e-Waste is a surprisingly misunderstood issue. A small percentage of businesses and schools address e-Waste, so we were excited to take it on this year. Last year, the Gremlins were inspired to get into Green Tech after learning about how electronic devices made with energy savings in mind can help reduce our Carbon Footprint.

How we are doing it

The Green Gremlins got to work right away. GCS already worked with several responsible phone and ink jet recycling groups, such as ThinkRecycle and EcoPhones. We advertised for the TechServe and Lower East Side Ecology Center’s e-Waste collection days and made posters for their collection day barricades. We looked for even more ways to get e-Waste recycled. We developed art projects, e-Waste collections, eco-fundraisers, and electronic education materials to help get the message out to parents, kids, and teachers. Through a blog we helped share our work and helped teach about recycling opportunities in our community. Through an e-Game re-use raffle, we raised money for Haiti while raising awareness about re-use. By collecting CDs and DVDs, we helped raise money for the ASPCA. Old VHS tapes were donated to a program to help train disabled workers. We are working to raise money to buy equipment like smart strips for our school in April by collaborating with Bright Green Markets on a school green marketplace that sells Green Tech.

What we are learning

Our students are encouraged to do more than learn about the problem. We hope they find entrepreneurial and innovative ways to work on solutions. Green technologies and e-Waste are just a few of the solutions we've learned about. We began collecting what we learned about e-Waste, and reporting our findings and all our Green Gremlin activities on a blog in November of 2009, www.greengremlins.wordpress.com. To teach us more about the importance of e-Waste issues, and share the ways in which we can be a part of the Green Tech solution, Carey Pulverman of the Lower East Side Ecology center came to GCS to talk about how New York City handles the problem. Problems we encounter while working on this issue are similar to those surrounding other environmental issues like recycling plastics and using forest resources; a lack of knowledge in the general public, a lack of comprehensive city recycling, and a lack of resources needed to get proper recycling programs established. Our children have learned to help the adults around them watch how they use materials, and have been better self-monitors when it comes to turning off their monitors!

School Information

School: Grace Church School
Grade level: K-5 6-8
Number of students in your project: 20
Subjects: Art Science Social Science
Other subjects: Technology, computers
Number of students in your school: 408
Project initiator: Parents and Teachers - Sustainability Task Force

Contact Information

Kim Chaloner, Science Teacher and Sustainability Coordinator
86 4th Avenue  New York,  NY  10003
www.greengremlins.wordpress.com, www.gcschool.org

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