MRH Middle School Honored for Project on Cafeteria Waste Reduction
Each year, the U.S. Green Building Council/Missouri Gateway Chapter challenges students to implement sustainability projects at their schools through the Green Schools Quest, a project-based challenge. 68 schools within the region participated this year. Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School was recognized as 3rd place winner in the middle school category.
The project, titled "Cafeteria Waste Reduction," engaged students in exploring food systems, including the environmental impact of the industrial food system, examining multiple waste streams within the cafeteria, and devising solutions towards reducing food waste. Students researched solutions, pitched ideas, and launched multiple projects to address the problem. They conducted two waste audits to identify major issues and presented findings from the audit. Based upon these findings, students introduced the idea of a share table, launched a campaign to ban plastic cutlery, and announced the upcoming food waste competition between 7th and 8th grades. Students promoted these initiatives with posters, flyers and articles.
A few comments from the judges:
• "I was very impressed with the team's creativity, such as proposing the energy release, engaging and motivating peers in competition, and for starting a productive dialogue with the food service department which will continue to benefit the school's sustainability performance beyond the school year."
• "Good job with measurements and analysis (addressing what, how and why)."
• "It was wonderful to see that students were able to take their knowledge of a global issue (waste) and identify multiple creative ways to address this within their own school. They did a great job identifying a lot of ways to communicate their project to others (admin/staff/students/family)."
The award was presented to MRHMS principal Dr. Mike Dittrich and science teacher Bill Henske by Hope Gribble, Education & Green Schools Manager, U.S. Green Building Council/Missouri Gateway Chapter.
For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.