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In The Classroom:

No lunch shall be wasted

Elementary school program shows students how to be more environmentally responsible.

March 09, 2009|By Saneyee Purandare

Every Friday, Harbor View Elementary School students have more to look forward to than just the weekend. They work together to create a greener, cleaner school. Half an hour before the students have their lunch break, rotating groups go around emptying recycling bins that have been set up all over the school.

This weekly activity started in Harbor View last year as a part of the “Green Up Our Schools” program. Other schools in the Newport-Mesa school district including Eastbluff Elementary and California Elementary have also adopted the program and have become “Green Schools.”

DeAnna Reposa from Corona Del Mar, whose son was a Harbor View student till last year, started the school’s program.

“I thought it would be good to educate the kids about the environment and what they can do to make a difference,” Reposa said. “We started last year with classroom paper recycling, and this year we started recycling bottles and cans.”

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Another new feature of the program is the “Waste Free Lunch Campaign.” Through this, the school encourages students to carry lunch in reusable containers instead of use-and-throw plastics and Styrofoam. Paper and cloth bags are also promoted.

“The goal is to have all the lunches waste-free,” Reposa said. “We are trying to promote cost savings for the students’ families, as well as environmentally friendly habits.”

To encourage students to participate, cloth bags that read “Kids Konserve,” steel lunchboxes and water bottles have been designed and are available for purchase. During lunchtime, several Harbor View kids can be seen eating out of these or other reusable containers, or paper bags.

Kim Snyder, parent of a Harbor View fifth-grader, also volunteers for the program. Her son is one of the many students at school who carry waste-free lunches every day.

“Some students are very excited about the idea,” Snyder said. “They are great with it, and have a lot of awareness.”

Snyder observes that many times, they even eat their lunch a lot better since it’s all laid out in front of them, and not in use-and-throw-bags.

Besides recycling in school, another effort to encourage the program in the community is to have neighborhood residents come in at 8 a.m. every Friday morning and drop off all their recyclable items.

KIDS TALK BACK

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

I would ask people to help the earth by not using Styrofoam. It’s really bad for the environment.

Seve Badajoz

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I would make sure that everybody has a recycling bin at their house.

Ryan Frojen

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I would tell people to stop using cans. Those things that cans come in pollute the sea and cause fishes to die.

Jacob Reines

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I would have everyone recycle and not litter.

Bonnie Robertson

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I want world peace and for everyone to be free and happy.

Reilly Wolski


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