by Christa Rolls, USAG Bavaria DPW Environmental Division
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – Vilseck Elementary School held a special assembly awarding students who reduced their lunchtime waste.
For three months, teachers and parent volunteers with first through fifth grade students monitored the amount of trash and recyclable products produced at Wednesday lunchtime. The classes with the least amount of total waste were recognized with a special outdoor-themed prize at the assembly.
VES Students from the Environmental Club recorded a video about the importance of
reducing, reusing, and recycling, and how best to carry out these actions, encouraging their fellow students to participate in the weekly event with hopes of making the habits daily.
The best way to reduce lunchtime waste is to buy bulk items instead of individually packaged products, and put lunch meals into reusable, multi-compartment containers.
Overall, the school more than doubled the number of students who chose to bring waste free lunches as their meals throughout the quarter.
Students received prizes such as bug viewers, butterfly nets, frisbees, and more. The winning classes are as follows:
1st Grade –Ms. Stavro’s Class
2nd Grade – Ms. Kellar’s Class
3rd Grade – Ms. Nell’s Class
4th Grade – Ms. Higley’s Class
5th Grade – Ms. Sizemore’s Class
VES plans to work with Soldier units in Vilseck to encourage participation in reducing food waste on a wider scale.
This initiative further spurred discussions with AAFES, leading to an approval for DODEA Schools in Bavaria to ultimately switch to reusable utensils in the lunch room and away from plastics.
Follow Vilseck Elementary School’s Environmental Club on Facebook to learn more about the environmental initiatives that young students are taking to secure a better future.