Child Care Links is a nonprofit daycare agency that provides families across the Alameda County with quality daycare and other necessities such as diapers.
Local Leaders had the pleasure of speaking to childcare providers as well as community members about the MRO, the specifics of sorting waste, and the relevance to children.
Our presentation evolved into a conversation with our audience about far-ranging topics: from differences in waste disposal across the Alameda County to new restrictions on accepted waste due to international relations. Interacting directly with the community members gave us a clearer picture of what we needed to do to make waste separation more accessible. It was also really exciting to hear that many residents already separated their waste, and that they hoped to encourage the children they cared for to do the same.
The idea that children are next generation’s leaders, they should understand the fundamentals of waste management came up again and again in our discussion. Several community members said that they had been separating waste for as long as they lived in their home cities, and it had become almost like second nature. We hope that by educating the community youth and building these habits from an early age, we can better our communities as well.
It was a beautiful, breezy morning, perfect for a creek cleanup.
After enjoying one (or three) delicious donuts, we put on safety goggles and gloves, and grabbed some trash bags. We were ready to go!
The trail seemed pretty clean at first, but the more we walked, the more trash we saw. Especially common were cigarette butts, broken glass from beer bottles, and food packaging like juice bottles, yogurt cups, ziploc baggies, and a boba cup. One of our weirder finds was several yards of fishing wire tangled around a tree branch. In total we collected a whopping 13.69 pounds of trash!
Afterwards, volunteers discussed why they were there and why they thought the cleanup was important. Reasons ranged from local to global; Carolyne Geng said she wanted to encourage people to visit the creek more, while Iris Chou cited the Great Garbage Patch, and how our little actions may lead to massive consequences. Indeed, our local action was just one step towards a global vision of a cleaner earth.
Local Leaders of Amador Valley
Writing by Mia Karlsson
The European Union is searching for ways to increase and promote recycling as waste is piling up in ports and landfills after China banned imports of “foreign garbage” or plastic.
This is problematic because for years China has been the largest importer of recyclable materials, importing 7.3 million tonnes from the UK, US, and Japan.
In light of this, Brussels is launching investigation, spending the equivalent of $430 million US dollars researching plastic production in hopes to modernise it.
Additionally, the former Dutch diplomat told The Guardian (a british daily newspaper): “If we don’t do anything about this, 50 years down the road we will have more plastic than fish in the oceans…”
The EU is looking to change drinking straws, coffee cups, lids, and colored bottles that do not degrade by making them degradable or not using them at all. One way they are planning to achieve this is to tax single use plastic items hopefully bringing the use of bags per person from 90 a year to 40 by 2026.
Eu regulators now want to ensure that plastic packaging is fully recyclable by creating new standards in quality level
Furthermore, the European Commission said it will reduce the demand for bottled water by installing easy access tap water on the streets and give guidance on how to improve the sorting and collecting of recyclable materials to member states.
The US could use China’s refusal to accept plastic as an opportunity to change the way we handle trash too. Waste has a huge negative impact on the environment as harmful chemicals and greenhouse gases are released from landfills.
Recycling requires much less energy, preserves resources and reduces pollution. If we could completely remove all non-biodegradable items out of our lives it would save wildlife, their habitats, us, and our planet.
On March 18, 2018 the single biggest mission in raising awareness on the importance of recycling will commence. It will take place in London, Washington DC, São Paulo, Paris, Johannesburg, Delhi, and Dubai The goal ,as stated on their website, is to “drive awareness and action around the urgent need to recycle more effectively around the world, to assure the future of our planet.”
The six major natural resources on our planet are water, air, coal, oil, natural gases, and minerals but they claim there is a seventh: Recycling. The reason is because without it, all of our discarded paper and plastic would contribute to the growing waste mountains never to be used again and we would have to continue stripping the Earth’s finite resources.
In order to have the seventh resource recognized, we need to change the way we do things. First, we must educate the public on how to help by teaching them what is and isn’t recyclable. 9 out of 10 people say they would recycle more if it were made easier to. We need to find a way to accomplish this whether it be posters or mandatory classes change needs to happen.
Second, we need to make recycling a community issue by supporting businesses and homes that find ways to recycle materials for repurposing. People need to know the impact recycling can have on their community and themselves. For example, just recycling one tin can, instead of throwing it in the trash, saves enough energy to power a television for three hours straight. Imagine how much energy we could save if every person correctly threw away only one tin can.
Lastly, we must promote and support international legislature that advocates recycling making it our number one priority over everything else. Our planet must come first but it won’t if no one is motivated or aware of what is happening. If you would like to get involved, you can educate yourself on the importance of recycling, join in on Global Recycling Day, or sign the petition to grab the attention of world leaders. The world is in your hands.
What Have We Been Doing?Welcome to our first blog of 2018! In the beginning of this school year, we split up into several groups to tackle different issues. Our Public Policy group has been busy lately, so here’s what we’ve been up to.
Advocating to the School BoardThree of our students, Varsha Madapoosi, Lauren Londono, and Paulina Umansky, spoke for district-wide compliance with the Mandatory Recycling Ordinance, the implementation of a district policy, and the usage California’s free environmental curriculum in PUSD schools.
Here’s what this really means:
Mandatory Recycling Ordinance (aka, MRO):
For our Pleasanton readers, you probably know that this is not the case for PUSD schools. So, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to work with the school board and ensure that PUSD is compliant with the MRO.
Other districts, including our neighbor Dublin, have adopted integrated waste management policies to become more sustainable. We want to follow suit.
Remember health education in freshman year? Well, we see a future where every child learns about environmental conservation too!
How Can You #GoGreen?Those are the three topics we advocated for in December. We’ll be sure to keep you updated with our progress! What can you do to #gogreen?
Water is a precious resource that we cannot live without, but it is also a utility cost that is not related to educational enrichment. The more water your school uses, the more money flows away from learning. Naturally, there are necessary water uses on campus, but leaky pipes, faulty irrigation systems, and outdated, high-flow water fixtures are unnecessarily wasteful. For communities facing drought conditions, efforts to be “water wise” are tantamount to being a good neighbor, but for communities with ample fresh water supplies, such efforts may not be front-burner issues. Nonetheless, the Go Green Initiative embraces the old saying, “Waste not. Want not.” In order to preserve our fresh water, it is important not to waste it or introduce pollutants that cannot be removed.
Look in the dumpster behind a typical school, and you will likely see a tremendous amount of material that must be removed from campus and placed somewhere else in the community. Some of it may be recyclable, some of it may end up in a landfill, and some of it may not have been needed in the first place. Most schools/school districts pay a considerable amount of money to have unwanted material hauled away from campus, so when schools reduce the amount of waste they generate, they can save money that can be used on educational uses vs. utility costs. Communities also benefit, because reducing school waste can increase the lifespan of local landfills and avoid the taxpayer burden of building new ones. The Go Green Initiative has been helping schools reduce waste and increase recycling since 2002, and we can help your school, too!
Do you know how much money your school spends on energy? Could that money be better used in the classroom, library or computer lab if your school became more energy efficient? Some schools are quick to invest in renewable energy projects like solar without first reducing inefficiencies in how they consume energy. This can result in putting up more renewable energy generation capacity than they need (or can afford). The first place to start in making your school energy smart is with energy efficiency projects, like updated lighting, HVAC systems, and insulation. Involving students in tracking the amount of energy saved is a great way to incorporate STEM into the everyday culture of the campus.
Most schools serve lunch, and many serve breakfast, too. There are scores of factors to consider when planning school meals, not the least of which are cost and nutrition. Embedded in the categories of cost and nutrition are issues such as: the energy cost of trucking pre-packaged food over long distances; the cost to dispose of food students don’t eat; the nutritional value of organic vs. pesticide-laden foods; etc. Some of the most important lessons we can teach students about resource conservation and environmental stewardship may very well be taught around the school lunch table.