It's Easy Being Green!

  • It's Easy Bein' Green Stanley's Parent Association Sustainability Committee has been consistently present supporting events and everyday programs on campus and with parents for many years. In this blog, committee chairs send tips and suggestions, insider scoops and details about ways we can keep helping our environment and keep our community happy and healthy. It’s not always easy bein’ green, but if we work together, we can make it a lot easier!

  • Election yard signs, fall leaves & recycling week

    Posted by The Green Team on 11/19/2020

    How can we maintain a high level of personal sustainability when everything around us is changing? All the time? Our Sustainability Committee is here to help. This week they give three timely tips we can act on today! Catch up in the committee’s “It’s Easy Being Green” blog.

     

    1. yard sign recycle Wondering what to do with your yard signs now that the election is over? Recycle them of course! Please note that residents should not put them or the metal stands in their purple carts though. There are many places accepting these signs for recycling around the state. Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-off is one such place, but a quick online search produces many more locations taking the signs.

     

    1. Fall leaves are amazing compost material! These can be placed into your green, residential, compost bins. If you don't have a city bin, or if you have too many leaves, several locations around the state are accepting them. Denver’s LeafDrop page shows a few local leaf-collection locations but, again, a web search will find more.

     

    1. Colorado Governor Jared Polis has declared the third week in November (that's this week!) Colorado Recycles Week. Please remember to recycle items that can be recycled as opposed to thrown away. Eco-Cycle's annual report revealed that our state's participation rates in recycling has dropped statewide. Need to read up on what is recyclable? Check here: what-can-be-recycled.html.
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  • Great websites for being green

    Posted by The Green Team on 11/5/2020

    With the season in mind, our Sustainability Committee has three great websites for you today. First, Colorado’s Leaf Drop program. All those gorgeous, crunchy fall leaves can be dropped off at numerous locations around the city and turned into mulch and compost soil! (After you’ve finished diving into the piles that is). The next two sites are zero-waste stores. Summit Sustainable Goods and The Zero Market have a ton of great items that produce, you guessed it, zero waste. Have you tried those wax cloths to cover your food? They are an amazing alternative to plastic wrap, trust us! The season of gift giving is almost here so take a look!

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  • Sustainability alive and well at Stanley

    Posted by The Green Team on 10/29/2020

    The first big news in sustainability efforts this year are the new trash/recycle/compost stations throughout the school. Last year our committee, along with Javier and Jeremy, worked to really get our waste stream straightened out. It’s easy for things to get mixed up when there are so many people. The lunchroom waste was minimized due to all of our reminders, assistance from the school and general education around how best to decrease our waste. Now that we have a new ‘normal’ it’s a good idea to re-educate the parents on helping thier kids understand how they can manage their lunches.

    To start, check out the links below:

     

    We have a few wonderful announcements and a reminder to share:

    • Five new bike racks were donatedto our school by the Goodwillies! Not only will this make biking to school more often much safer but it will be a game changer for future Bike To School Days. 
    • Middle Schoolers have started an Environmental Clubled by Kelly Morin. This group meets weekly on Zoom, and is working hard to tackle the issues they see at Stanley and in their communities. Things like water waste, trash and energy usage are hot topics right now that have been brought up. They’re addressing the issues and talking about solutions so we’ll be touching base with them and sharing some of their accomplishments throughout the year.
      • They are also having a home-made Halloween costume contest. More information to come.
    • Recycled Art Contest (K-8)This exciting idea was presented at a recent PA meeting and we are working out the details. Stay tuned! 

     

    *****
    Now for an important reminder: Idling cars produce enough noxious fumes to have a negative effect on our lungs and especially in kids. We will touch on this topic again with a great article soon, but for now, we would like to kindly remind all drivers who arrive before the car line begins to move to please stop your engines until the line becomes active. (Psst, this requirement is also outlined in the Parent Handbook.) We have a global pandemic on our hands and wildfires torching acres of land across our great state. Let’s do a little extra to help and turn off our cars while we wait for our kids even if it’s just for a few minutes. Thanks.

    *****

    There you have it folks! We will be back soon with more news and updates but also with some fun tips and suggestions, insider scoops, and details about upcoming contests and ways we can keep helping our environment and our community stay happy and healthy. 

     

    It’s not always easy bein’ green, but if we work together, we can make it a lot easier!

    Chelsea White and Dan Hyatt
    2020-21 Sustainability Committee Chairs

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  • Update from our Green Team

    Posted by Lance Rushton on 2/20/2020

    Did you know we’re composting every event? And that bike-day has doubled? Stanley’s Sustainability Committee is getting things done to reduce Stanley’s carbon footprint. Read more accomplishments and projects here…

    Who are we?  We are a parent/teacher/administration group dedicated to being a greener more sustainable school community

     

    What do we do?  Our basic mission is to evaluate and respond to our school’s  sustainable practices throughout its facilities, classrooms and event spaces. 

     

    Green Team Enacting this mission, we strive to provide resources to families that want to do more around sustainable practices both at home and as they and their children interact with the school community.  We are also making efforts to work with the teaching staff to integrate sustainable practices in the day-to-day and longer unit curriculum so that our students are responding to and ready for the environmental challenges confronting us and them at an increasing rate.   Lastly, we are partnering with our operational and facilities staff, to ensure the school’s infrastructural and event-planning practices are in line with forward thinking sustainable practices.

     

    Accomplishments:

     

    • All annual and calendared events have become compost driven using all compostable plates, cups & cutlery
    • We have eliminated all black plastic bags for recycling receptacles
    • We have provided a dumpster caddy lift for recycling containers to be dumped more easily without black plastic bags
    • We have more than doubled* the participant size in bike to school day *(No official data available) J
    • We have increased signage for our no idling efforts in the student pick-up lines (Please don’t make us ask you to not idle…you’re our friends J)

     

    Projects:

     

    • NO TO SINGLE USE PLASTICS PLEDGE This is a national campaign that we are looking into for our school
    • Sustainable Corner in the Bulldog
    • Bulletin Board (That you’re looking at!) with rotating info on how to act more sustainably at home and beyond, projects, etc.
    • NO IDLING campaign to get our pick-up lines down to ZERO idling cars, everyday
    • Grade level recycling and composting systems that are student driven
    • Water analysis and usage. We are looking into bottle filling stations and would love your feedback on this. 
    • We are working to provide each classroom with refillable water containers with spigots for classroom events
    • We are working to expand Bike2School Day to the back of the school to ease the flow of traffic
    • We are supporting the Earth Day events
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  • Stanley's Sustainability Committee presents Green Notes - Bulldog Edition

    Have a Heart for Valentine's Day!

    By Dan Hyatt for the Sustainability Committee (excluding the joke :)
     
    What did one Volcano say to the other on Valentine's Day?
    I lava you!
     
    This Valentine's Day, have a HEART! Do your part. It can be easy to keep it eco friendly for Valentines day, just consider the following tips and ideas to get you started. When choosing what to exchange, remember that plastic candy wrappers, foils, stickers, glitter, plastic toys, etc cannot be recycled or composted and will end up in the trash.  Here are a few ideas that will keep it simple to make exchanging Valentines a waste-free event:
     
    DIY valentine Paper! Make sure your valentines are all paper and they can be easily composted or recycled! 
    • Instead of stickers, use ink stamps
    • Valentine themed origami - many options online
    • Pass out fresh flowers
    • Make heart shaped bird seed feeders
    • Hand out seed packets with clever notes on them
    • Melt down old crayons into new heart-shaped ones
    • Valentine themed jokes printed on paper
    • Bookmarks!
    • Friendship bracelets
    • Chalk, crayons, pencils
    • If wrapping, use cloth and twine

     

    Bike-to-school Day biggest yet!!

    By Lance Rushton for the Sustainability Committee

    Wow Stanley!!  We did it, another Bike To School Day with yet again more families participating than ever before!  We had so many people we are considering moving our landing zone to the Middle School Drop Off Zone for the spring B2SD.  A big thanks to everyone who participated and helped to make it go smoothly. Hopefully you met all the families in your neighborhood who want to ride to school a bit more.
     
    We also want to give a big thank you to Arleigh Greenwald of Bike Shop Girl Family Cyclery for bringing down three beautiful e-cargo bikes for us to try out.  If you didn't get to try them, here is another great opportunity.  Her shop's mission, like our Bike To School Day is to get more families on bikes and to leave the car at home, avoiding the traffic and drop off lines.  In this effort, her shop Bike Shop Girl has a CARGO BIKE CHALLENGE this month to try a e-bike for 24 hours for free!!  : https://bikeshopgirl.com/blogs/updates/the-school-drop-off-cargo-bike-challenge .  I assure you, after getting off of one of these bikes there will be a big smile on your face.
     
    Keep pedaling through October!!
     
    The Sustainability Committee

     

    Our Pollution, Our Habits, Our Remedies

    By David Hildebrand for the Sustainability Committee

    Denver: A Top 10 Smoggiest City!

    I was astounded to read, a few weeks ago, about a new report which listed Denver as one of the top 10 smoggiest metro areas. With our view of the mountains, blue skies and sunshine, it feels inconceivable! Yet a report by the Frontier Group and the Environment America Research & Policy Center released April 11, 2017, gives the dirty details.

    The Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area was 6th on the list with 176 days of “elevated smog pollution.” 21 of those days were classified as “unhealthy” days for “unhealthy for sensitive groups” (children and older adults) and 153 days were categorized as “moderate” or “acceptable.” The report explains that even minimal exposure to ozone pollution can damage health, and “extended periods of exposure to smog creates a compound effect” — this means that the 153 days of “moderate” pollution can produce an aggregate affect with create health issues. Children and active, outdoors-oriented adults are most at risk.

    Smog and Health

    What are the health effects of smog (ground-level ozone) and fine-particulate pollution? As the Frontier report explains, smog (ground-level ozone) can cause: 

    • coughing
    • wheezing
    • throat irritation
    • a raised risk of infection
    • permanent damage to lung tissue, especially in children

    Fine particulate matter causes:

    • similar respiratory harms
    • cardiovascular issues (heart attacks, strokes and congestive heart failure)
    • developmental and neurological damage. 

    For children, particulate pollution is linked to: 

    • premature birth
    • higher risk of developing autism
    • stunted lung development

    For older people, breathing fine particulates also increases the risk of dementia.

    Causes

    What causes smog and pollution? As you might expect, these are “the byproducts of burning coal, gasoline, diesel and other fossil fuels” and so the basic aims for reducing pollution would include energy sources that are based not on fossil fuels but upon clean, renewable sources like wind and solar energy.

    One Simple Change We Can Do: Stop Idling our Cars

    Since most of us do not operate power plants or write energy legislation, we have little direct influence over how our energy is generated. One simple way we can be effective — and this goes for many things related to sustainability — is examine our day-to-day habits. In this arena, we all have the power to make a real change.

    Idling our cars is one habit we can reconsider — and reform. “Idling” is when ... (continue)

    Archives: 

    Volume 6 May 4, 2017: Our Polution, Our Habits, Our Remedies

    Volume 5 February 2, 2017: Low-impact Lunches

    Volume 4 January 26, 2017: Did you Know: Dryer Sheets

    Volume 3 January 12, 2017: Did you Know: Composting & Recycling

    Volume 2 December 8, 2016: Holidays & Environmental Sustainability

    Volume 1 November 10, 2016: What You Should Know about This Year's Sustainability Program

    Thanks to the parents on Stanley’s All-volunteer Sustainability Committee! For more information, or to participate, contact the Office of Community Engagement at communityengagement@stanleypbps.org.