SUSTAINABILITY AT FERNBANK
MISSION: Contribute to and support Fernbank in becoming an ENVIRONMENTALLY MINDFUL, RESOURCE RESPONSIBLE, and SUSTAINABILITY INTEGRATED school and community.
Fernbank Sustainability is a parent led initiative, collaborating with the county, students, teachers, custodial and administrative staff, parents, and community partners.
We encourage Fernbank to create environmentally sustainable practices and habits and to be mindful of the environment, at school, in our community and the world.
Through practice, education, and example, we want to encourage and guide our students in becoming more environmentally conscious and to be sustainability leaders of our future.
THERE ARE SO MANY SMALL THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO to REDUCE YOUR IMPACT (and inspire others)
***Making changes to more earth friendly habits is a learning process for everyone.
Convenience (like one time use) isn’t healthy or sustainable to us or our earth.
We are teaching our kids so that they can influence and impact the environment in a positive way. We all share the responsibility of protecting our planet.
RE-USE as much as you can
REDUCE USE OF HARMFUL HOUSEHOLD CHEMICALS/ CLEANERS
EAT LESS MEAT PER WEEK
TAKE SHORTER SHOWERS
TRY A BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSH
COMPOST FOOD SCRAPS
SKIP THE STRAW
REDUCE YOUR FOOD WASTE
PLANT MORE TREES
GROW YOUR OWN VEGETABLES
REPLACE PAPER TOWELS WITH REUSABLE CLOTHS
paper towels use so many resources and are used once and thrown away - try cutting up an old towel into cloth size pieces that you can use instead of paper towels, or get some kitchen cloths
turn off or unplug electronics + appliances when you are not using them
BUY PRODUCTS WITH LESS PACKAGING
So much of landfill trash is packaging
When you choose to purchase items that have less packaging, you are sending a message, your choices make a difference
(Why do english cucumbers, cauliflower, bananas need to be wrapped in plastic?)
ELIMINATE SINGLE-USE PLASTICS (bags, containers, utensils, straw, coffee cup, bottle)
Single Use Plastic cutlery is terrible for the environment - just 1 piece uses so much energy and resources. Keep a set of spoons and forks that you can use when you go out to eat at places that give these away
Check out this video about the life of a plastic spoon
Polystyrene contains the toxic substances Styrene and Benzene, suspected carcinogens and neurotoxins that are hazardous to humans. Hot foods and liquids actually start a partial breakdown of the Styrofoam, causing some toxins to be absorbed into our bloodstream and tissue.
COMPOST FOOD WASTE
Composting food scraps at home or through a service like compost now, keeps the food waste out of landfills and recycles it into nutrient rich soil for our gardens that we are growing
USE A RE-USABLE WATER BOTTLE & DRINK (FILTERED) TAP WATER
instead of buying plastic water bottles
DONATE / SHARE / RECYCLE (clothes, shoes, books, toys, furniture, appliances)
We can reuse so much, and there are so many people who are in need of clothes, sheets, towels, shoes, books. Think about donating your items to organizations that get the donations directly to people who need them
DON’T SPRAY FOR MOSQUITOES
Spraying for mosquitoes kills pollinators - without pollinators, we may lose all the plants that bees pollinate, all of the animals that eat those plants and so on up the food chain
Forget about a perfect lawn,
chemicals that kill weeds are harmful to other plants, animals, and insects
Skip the drive thru, turn your car off when waiting in line in carpool, or sitting a parking lot.
Turning Off your car cuts down on hazardous pollutants linked to asthma, heart disease, chronic bronchitis, and cancer.
For every 10 minutes your engine is off, you’ll prevent one pound of carbon dioxide from being released (carbon dioxide is the primary contributor to global warming).
DO A WASTE AUDIT AT YOUR HOUSE or OFFICE
Figure out how much waste your household generates in a week,
Once you have an idea, you can make changes.
Here is an example of sorting categories/
Items recyclable at the curb (paper, glass, metal, plastic bottles)
Items recyclable, but not at the curb (plastic bags, electronics, batteries)
Organic waste (yard waste, food, soiled paper)
Everything else (non-recyclable packaging, diapers, straws)
refers to the simple act of reducing hard-to-recycle waste before it starts. Practical ways to precycle include choosing products that already have recycling solutions in place or are packaged in materials that are easy for you to recycle locally.
IT IS Shopping with waste output in mind.
When you shop, seek out products that are packaged in material that you can recycle curbside, bring your own shopping bags, and buy in bulk to limit packaging in the first place.
THERE ARE SO MANY MANY MANY MORE THINGS YOU CAN DO!
DEKALB COUNTY SUSTAINABLE SCHOOL OF THE YEAR 2019
1ST PUBLIC SCHOOL IN GEORGIA TO PILOT COMPOSTING AS PART OF A WELLNESS PROGRAM
1ST PUBLIC SCHOOL IN GEORGIA TO PILOT COMPOSTABLE TRAYS, REUSABLE SILVERWARE AND REUSABLE TRAYS
PESTICIDE FREE GROUNDS
ELIMINATED SINGLE-USE PLASTICS + STYROFOAM FROM OUR CAFETERIA!
2 WATER REFILL STATIONS
DIVERTED 30,000 LBS OF WASTE FROM LANDFILL BY COMPOSTING
INSPIRED OTHER SCHOOLS AND DISTRICTS
WATCH OUR VIDEO TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WHY WE ARE COMPOSTING AND SORTING OUR WASTE
WHY ARE WE COMPOSTING?
• TO REDUCE the amount of waste we send to landfills.
• TO REDUCE the amount of methane released into the air.
• TO RECYCLE OUR FOOD WASTE by Turning it into nutrient rich, soil for gardens.
• TO MAKE a change to our habits for our children and our future
Food scraps are used to make rich compost and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from landfills.
MAKE IT GREEN
Having a class party?
Organizing a school event?
Make sure that your event meets
the sustainability standards at Fernbank.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
to help you green your event.
From supply resources, engaging your class or committee, to setting up waste sorting, we are here to help you!
Please review our sustainability protocol for events at Fernbank
Please review our sustainable classroom kit info
TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
STYROFOAM LEACHES INTO FOOD AND DRINK.
Especially when paired with liquid and heat, a Styrofoam container’s toxins (like benzene and styrene) seep into the contents. But even with cold or dry food, contact with Styrofoam is unhealthy. A huge portion of our food contains styrene contamination.
STYROFOAM IS A ‘KNOWN HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE.’ Like all plastics, Styrofoam is a petrochemical; it comes from petroleum, which is known to cause developmental, hematological, renal, and immunological disorders. It is made of puffed #6 plastic: “polystyrene” (PS), made ‘of many styrenes’. Styrene is classified a known hazardous substance and has many ties to cancer
STYROFOAM IS TOXIC JUST TO MAKE IT.
Styrofoam's industry ranks the 5th largest creator of toxic wastes in the USA. That includes liquid and solid wastes. Gross.
In the U.S. alone, the amount of polystyrene cups used each year would circle the Earth 426 times… that's almost 18 million miles of Styrofoam cups!
CONSIDER THE TIME, ENERGY & RESOURCES USED TO MAKE A PLASTIC FORK
SINGLE USE PLASTICS MAKE UP HALF OF ALL PLASTIC THAT IS PRODUCED
PLASTIC CUTLERY CANNOT BE RECYCLED
IT ENDS UP IN A LANDFILL OR IN OUR OCEANS
RE-USING as much as we can reduces landfill waste, pollution and saves money.
To be a model school in the district as the healthiest with the most wellness and sustainably minded culture, with the least waste in the district (**AMBITOUS GOAL)
Be responsible and resourceful in planning school events and class parties - Use REUSABLES in place of SINGLE USE PLASTICS( like cutlery, cups, plates, plastic water bottles )
Access to reusable supplies and compostables for events
Provide resources to find reused or repurposed materials for classroom activities wherever possible ( examples: reusable cutlery for events, reclaimed school supplies from our end of year school supply collection - crayons, composition books etc)
Educate and provide students with the tools they need to make healthy food and lifestyle choices
Expand garden to impact K-5 - incorporate garden into every grade curriculum
More food tastings featuring garden produce
Expand garden to feature a small greenhouse
Move to bulk milk service to recude milk waste, landfill waste (cartons)
Cooking from scratch and using more plants + vegetables from our garden in cafeteria recipes
Secure dishwasher and reusable trays to more significantly reduce waste
Replace GRABnGO containers with compostables
Our go green club works together to inspire and encourage each other and our community to be more conscious of our impact on our environment.
We have worked on bringing recycling to our school, raising awareness of the food and landfill waste we produce everyday in the cafeteria, learning about small and big actions we can do everyday to reduce our environmental footprint, and worked together on projects using recycled materials. Parents & staff please collaborate and participate!!!!!!!!!
The fernbank school garden is a collaboration between parents and our science teacher.
In the last year, the garden has grown;
We have a seed library and host garden work days each month.
Produce from our raised beds has been part of smoothie days and as gifts to visitors.
Cilantro in the spring was used for salsa in the cafeteria and herbs were used in pasta sauce for lunch.
We also planted 7 new blueberry bushes!
Our goal is to expand our garden and outdoor programming to be incorporated into all grade’s curriculums.
Our Go Green Club posts about projects we have done and articles that are interesting for kids and parents about our environment
See the poster presentation about our Sustainable Cafeteria Initiative at Fernbank at the Break the Cycle Conference at Emory University.
AT the conference, students and faculty from a variety of colleges and universities participate in developing projects that will Break the Cycle of Children’s Environmental Health Disparities to promote health equity for all children.