Half Day School: Zero Waste School Lunch Program

Students: 15
Staff: 9
Mentor: Seema Keshav & Shree Lakshmi Narasimhan
Project type: Sustainability Plan Development
Location: Lincolnshire
Grade levels: Third through Fifth Grade

Half Day is working towards becoming a zero waste school by creating a composting program and educating students on the importance of composting. The student Green Team researched ways to reduce food waste and lunch trash, presented findings to the district school board and administration and launched a schoolwide composting program where they sort lunch waste themselves. Half Day is continuing to work with their lunch program company to see how to further reduce waste, including having students bring in reusable utensil kits.

Half Day plans to fully implement the new district-wide composting program next year, which includes local and industrial composting efforts to reduce the amount of food waste in our landfills. Students will work along with the industrial compost company to monitor the amount of food waste collected each week. Students have also changed their daily habits in and outside of school, using reusable utensils for lunch instead of plastic, using reusable products instead of plastic, and composting at home.

“Our students are aware of the problems our climate faces. They know change is necessary and they want to be part of the solution.”

Tracy Gordon, Fourth Grade Teacher