After a very successful year at Chavez Elementary of modeling the city’s business compost pilot, this successful community schools plans to kick off the new year with further reductions in their carbon footprint and help students learn lifelong lessons in “making a difference.”

The inspiration for this program came from Ximena Diez-Jackson, DavisRISE (Recycling is Simply Elementary) Leader at Chavez Elementary.  Composting helps increase carbon capture in the soil and reduces methane emissions  by having aerobic rather than anerobic decomposition. So composting helps reduce the carbon footprint of each school.

With a team consisting of the principal, aides-titled lunch supervisors, the custodians and 650 students on the campus, they took the business model to heart and reduced their solid waste stream to half of a 32 gallon can. On August 22nd each elementary child will be reminded by their teachers with three simple words: “Remember To Recycle.” Every elementary school site will have the same template at lunch time to make it happen.
New signage for the first day of school will include both English and Spanish.  Custodians and DavisRISE Leaders will work closely with the lunch duty aides to train students and assist them in making wise choices. If this program is as successful as anticipated, by the winter break one (2-yard) bin will be removed from each elementary school site, saving the school district money. The mantra is “Why pay for garbage when recycling and composting can be the answer for change?”

Stay tuned…Davis students will hopefully take control of their school environment by reducing solid waste to the point where they will make it happen at home, encouraging their parents to make changes there. After all, students took lessons learned about smoking and helped many parents quit. Check in at the office of one of the local elementary school sites and watch our students in action.

Composting demonstrations will be held at the Cool Davis Festival on Saturday, October 13, 2012 adjacent to the Farmers Market in Central Park.