SNOHOMISH — A landfill is “like, where lots of garbage goes,” according to fourth-grader Reagan Vansteel.
In 2018, a little less will be coming from her school, Little Cedars Elementary south of Snohomish. The school recently switched to metal silverware in the cafeteria, instead of plastic.
The suggestion came from fourth-grade teacher Donna Petruzzi-Benson, who is part of the school’s green team. Assistant Principal Sam Hanson was on board. So was Carly Antal, the kitchen lead with the food service contractor, Chartwells.
“It’s teaching the kids valuable lessons of reusing, and it’s something we already do at home,” Antal said.
Staff used garbage bags to show the children the impact they could make: They estimate that reusable silverware will reduce the school’s waste by 38 bags a year. Not buying cases of plastic forks and spoons also is expected to save $1,800 annually.
The students heard about the importance of cutting back on items designed for one-time use.
“They said we’re trying to be better and not waste and make more landfill,” Reagan said.
The fourth grader learned a new word, too. The students were told they would be pioneers, or as she remembered it, “piloteers,” or maybe it was “polunteers.”
Reagan and third-grader Scottie Dinwiddie like school lunches. Fourth-grader Maddie McSpadden sometimes brings Lunchables, but she’s also a fan of chicken nuggets day, she said.
Students and staff at Little Cedars said they hope other campuses in the Snohomish School District will follow their lead.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @rikkiking.