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Waste-Free Snacks Overview and Procedures

WasteFreeSnacks The Waste-Free Snacks waste reduction challenge brings schools across the nation together to reduce combined snack trash by ½ million pounds during National Green Week!

This is not as daunting as it may seem. There are many small changes you can implement at your school to achieve this goal. For example, did you realize that according to USA Today, the average American creates 3.5 pounds of trash each day? Small changes like packing snacks, drinks and lunches in reusable containers can lead to big improvements for the planet.

During this challenge, students participate in the largest school based waste-reduction program in history by pledging to carry their drinks and snacks in reusable containers for a week. 

National Green Week kicks off the first full week in February, but you can choose any week from then until April 30 to be your Green Week.

Waste Free Snacks Procedures:

The week prior to your chosen time period: Sign up a group of student green keepers to collect all classroom snack trash and record a total weight. By doing so before alerting parents the weigh-in is more accurate. In the past, families starting using reusable containers upon learning about the program, causing inaccurate data. Please view the weigh-in procedures listed below for details on how to accomplish this simple, yet eye opening task.

Watch the Fisher Green School Experiment video with students and staff so they can understand and get excited about how the program works. (Please note that IXG Green Packs were used at Fisher Elementary School, however they are not a requirement of this program. Any reusable containers brought from home can be utilized and are encouraged). If you are interested in IXG Green Packs, they are significantly discounted for National Green Week.

Make sure all teachers are on board as they will need to make sure that only snack trash is collected for the day(s) of your pre-weight measures. Educate teachers by emailing this customizable letter to let them know of their role in the program along with the lessons and activities that are available to them.

Green SnackingSend this customizable letter to families to educate them on the program and their role in providing waste-free snacks. Students and parents should be reminded that all snacks and drinks brought in during this week are trash-free with the exception of fruit remains i.e. apple cores, banana peels, etc. Therefore, snack packaging, disposable bottles, juice packs, and other trash is strongly discouraged.

Assign a group of children (Green Keepers of the week) to provide leadership in weighing snack trash after the program begins.

Inform custodial personnel that snack trash will be separated out and measured once during the week prior and once during the week of your schools chosen Green Week.

Snack trash for the entire school should be weighed on a medical scale and recorded by students. Students should photograph the pre-weigh-in trash for comparison with next week's weigh-in. Actual trash does need not be kept until end of National Green Week. Instead, you can create a visual simulation of actual trash by stuffing trash bags with recyclables to same size as real trash size.

Extrapolate your daily snack trash for one week based on your single day weigh-in or continue to weigh-in daily.

Optional: Use this  press release to inform your local community press of your participation in National Green Week and invite them to cover your weigh-in.

Optional: Request support from your local city/town mayor or town manager utilizing the letter to town/city officials. Request that town employees pack waste-free lunches during National Green Week.