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Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Regional Garbage Free Lunch Challenge Winners Announced

Congratulations to those students in the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District who participated in the Regional Garbage Free Lunch Challenge. You are setting a good example for others by finding ways to reduce your waste. 

All classes who participated in the challenge demonstrated an improvement, that they were working towards Zero Waste.  It was very interesting to see some classes start with low amounts of garbage to begin with, while others had very high garbage numbers. Two lunches were audited; the initial one was a surprise to students and the second one, usually occurred about a week later, and there was an intention to reduce waste. There were four categories used to classify the remaining pieces of students' lunch.  They were divided into reusables, recyclables, compostables/organics and garbage.  The goal of "Zero Waste" was almost accomplished by two classes in the Region, Ms. Kubin's class from Stawamus Elementary School in Squamish and Mr. Smith's class from Myrtle Philip Elementary School in Whistler. Ms Kubin's class reduced their garbage numbers from 30 pieces overall to 2 pieces overall, while Mr. Smith's class had very little garbage during both audits, with a final number of pieces of garbage being 8 and they reduced their recyclables.  

Honourable mention should also go to Ms. Allen's class from Spring Creek Elementary School in Whistler who clearly excelled in the overall spirit of increasing reusables and reducing waste and recycling. They not only reduced their waste but they increased the amount of reusable containers they included in their lunches on the Garbage Free Lunch Day and reduced the amount of recyclables used, which is beneficial for the environment as a whole as recycling still requires a lot of energy to process, therefore reusable containers are preferable.  

Others classes that deserve accolades are Ms. Millen's class at Spring Creek Elementary School in Whistler as they had very little garbage and waste of any kind on both lunch audits.  Check out the photo showing how little waste they had after completing their lunches.  That is incredible!  If only everyone could do this.

The two winning classes will be rewarded with a free pizza lunch, and a challenge to ensure that it is a Garbage Free Pizza lunch by bringing their own reusable containers in to eat out of to ensure no garbage is wasted unnecessarily.

To date, 15 classes (aproximately 440 students) in the Region have received Zero Waste Workshops this past fall, sponsored by the SLRD, although not all participated in the Regional Garbage Free Lunch Challenge. 

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