The Environmental Education Committee (EEC) is committed to increasing knowledge, skills, abilities and awareness of students and our entire East Side family on matters pertaining to the environment. The various programs supported by the EEC are designed to raise awareness, understanding and commitment to ensure stewardship of the earth’s environment. Here is an overview of some of the ongoing programs of the EEC:
No Idle Zone Takes Effect - September 26
East Side’s No-Idling Zone is part of our involvement with the Clean Air Schools program. Through this program, we are working to protect the health of our students and the health of our environment, and we ask you to show your support by turning off your engine. Cobb County has also adopted a no-idling policy for our school buses, greatly restricting the idling time on school grounds. Our No Idle signs are not yet re-installed, but our commitment to clean air for our children is as visible as ever!
The emissions that come from our tailpipes harm all of us, especially children who breathe more and at a faster rate than adults. Metro Atlanta’s air pollution problem also poses particular risks for our children with asthma. Georgia has a higher than average rate of pediatric asthma, and even low levels of pollution can trigger an asthma attack or respiratory symptoms. During our baseline survey (conducted the week of September 12), our idling rates averaged close to 45%!! That’s way too high!
So, if you’re going to be idling for more than 30 seconds, please remember to turn your car’s engine off. You’ll not only improve our air, you’ll also save money in fuel and vehicle wear and tear costs! Learn more about the “truth of idling” and the impact of smog on air quality.
Paper and Plastic Recycling – parent volunteers help students collect paper and other recyclable products on Fridays at school, diverting thousands of tons of waste from the landfills.
Grounds Maintenance – throughout the school year, the EEC maintains the front landscaping of the school as well as the DEAR Garden, which is used as an outdoor classroom by teacher.
Clean Air Schools – East Side became a Clean Air School in 2008 by implementing a No Idle Zone and coordinating a Ride There! For Clean Air Campaign. Those efforts continue through No Idle surveys conducted in the fall and spring and our bus-riding campaign in January.
Toner Cartridge Recycling – volunteers collect toners from the collection bins and take them to designated recycling sites.
Capri Sun Pouch Brigade – our newest recycling effort! Students bring rinsed drink pouches to school and these are converted into bags, pencil cases and other neat items by Terracycle.
Athletic Shoes – are collected by EEC volunteers and donated to third-world charities where worn-out stinky sneakers are most welcome!
Reusable Water Bottles – the EEC offers BPA-free water bottles for sale through Tiger’s Cage as well as direct sales. This saves thousands of disposable bottles from entering the waste stream.
There are many ways that families can assist in these efforts and it doesn’t cost a penny – just your participation. There are so many things that we can all do to be good stewards of our natural resources – switch to CFLs in your home, invest in reusable shopping bags, pack lunches in reusable lunch containers, use cloth napkins instead of paper. It’s easy to be green – join us! For questions and comments, send an Email to EnvironmentalEducation@eastsideelementary.com