| Ford Church

Toss Less Trash

Ever wonder how much of your trash could be kept out of a landfill? A lot, according to the 3rd quarter Community Adventure Program (CAP) class at New Vista High School. Led by teacher Paige Doughty in partnership with the Cottonwood Institute, these students decided to learn about the relationship between overconsumption, wasteful packaging, and the burden of trash on their local and global community.

The students read articles, spoke to the school custodian, looked through their own trash, and visited grocery stores as well as Ellie’s Eco Home Store. They found out Boulder had an excellent recycling program, but it would be more effective if residents understood it better. Their findings-and their creativity-were revealed during a week this March when the students took their Action Project to the community. New Vista was ready to make a difference, and every day brought a new way:

  • Day 1: Mini seminars on smart buying to avoid wasteful packaging
  • Day 2: Disposal experts stationed at every trash station
  • Day 3: Bring your own mug day- score free Folsom Street Coffee!
  • Day 4: Dun dun dunnn….. Trash Audit!!!
  • Day 5: Clean up the neighborhood- trash pick-up on local streets

A big thank you to Alicia Bouyounan from Eco-Cycle for coordinating the epic trash audit right on the school’s front lawn. The students reduced 8 bags of trash to 2.5! The CAP class also showed a student-made film (check it out below!) and gave a presentation about overconsumption and recycling during the school’s Exhibition Day. This Action Project managed to reach the entire New Vista community between these events, eye-catching 3-D signs, and “trash art.” Yes, you can make art out of trash instead of tossing it!

CAP student Aleyna Porreca found it easy to say goodbye to overconsumption: “My lifestyle now has not become any more difficult but it is much less wasteful.” Classmate Olive Egbert said, “I have been able to discover that we play an essential role in the world as individuals, and we can make a difference… I have also learned that it’s important not to discourage yourself harshly with the big idea of what’s going on environmentally.”


Categories: Action Projects

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