Today’s post comes from ILACSD’s Environmental Educator, Monica Rosquillas!
Last Thursday, November 15th, was America Recycles Day. The County of San Diego and I Love A Clean San Diego staff celebrated the day with students at Barnett Elementary School in Ramona. We arrived bright and early to set up the EnviroFair which included booths, games, and activities for kindergarteners through 5th graders participated in throughout the day. The Solana Center, Ramona Disposal, and the County of San Diego Office of Education’s Splash Lab were also there with educational activities and exhibits that displayed all the cool things about recycling. This was an all-day event, students came in early in the morning and the last group left right before the bell rang, announcing the end of the school day and the start of the After-School Cleanup.
I was not expecting America Recycles Day to be so educational and fun! The students and I had a chance to spend time at each of the booths and activity centers where there were many activities including a fast game of recycle relay where students used their speed and knowledge about recyclables, compostable items, and hazardous waste, a composting exhibit (worms and all), toys and neat decorations made from recycled materials. There was even a real recycling truck from Ramona Disposal! Students got to see firsthand how recycling trucks work, and I was very impressed by the questions students were asking our friends at Ramona Disposal like: Do the trucks run on diesel or gasoline? What happens to the recyclables after they get picked up at my house? How many pounds of recyclables are collected each day? And of course, many wanted to know whether they had ever found anyone hiding in the back of the truck 🙂
Not only did students learn all about recycling, but many also participated in a cleanup held right at their school. There, they were able to apply the knowledge they gained during the EnviroFair by picking up and sorting trash, recyclables, and hazardous waste found around their school. Our community events staff led the cleanup around campus with about 50 students, parents, teachers, and staff who picked Seventy-Five pounds of trash and recyclables! Everyone who participated in the clean-up helped make a cleaner San Diego and prevented that trash from ending up in our waterways. Overall, these kids were awesome, one enthusiastic student told Lexi, our Community Events Coordinator “you know, I would risk my life if it meant a greener Earth”.
At the end of the day I was exhausted, but I felt great about teaching San Diego’s youth the so many great things about recycling, reusing, and reducing! Not to mention having fun and learning so much myself. I’m looking forward to November 15, 2013, but until then, I will be sure to make everyday a recycling day.