BMS - Prairie Campus
The Prairie PTO Environmental Awareness Committee has worked with school administration, teachers and janitorial staff to help students learn about and see the value of environmental stewardship.For further information about environmental awareness efforts at Prairie Middle School, please contact Purnima Bhogaraju, Jennifer Kainz or Ritu Khare.In the fall of 2014, the Prairie PTO, along with support from Principal Travis Lobbins, purchased 7 water bottle filling stations to replace standard water fountains. The filling stations encourage students to bring their own refillable water bottles to school rather than using disposable plastic bottles, which are hugely detrimental to our oceans and to the environment in general.We conducted several waste audits and waste sort events in order to assess the amount of compostable waste that could be diverted from landfills. In 2015, we collected data from a waste audit during one week in April. The average amount of compostable waste was 100 pounds a day while total uneaten food weighed in at an average of 22 pounds per day.During Earth Week in April 2016, we engaged the students in a series of activities related to recycling, reducing waste through responsible consumption of food and other products and environmental stewardship. They learned that taking small steps can add up to big impacts with the idea of DO ONE THING. Students viewed a slideshow created by teacher James Bartlett that illustrated the value of diverting waste from landfills. They also learned environmental trivia during their advisory periods and participated in a Quizlet competition at the end of the week based on the trivia. Students were presented with ideas of how small things add up to big changes. DO ONE THING gave students ideas about how simple, everyday actions such as using reusable water bottles, changing out incandescent lightbulbs for LEDs, taking shorter showers and many other small actions can result in positive impacts for the environment.The Prairie PTO Environmental Awareness Committee has also planned several events to support and encourage responsible disposal of waste materials. These events include:Drive Thru Recycling Event in April 2015 where community members had the opportunity to responsibly recycle Electronics such as Personal Computers, Monitors, Computer Drives, Computer Mice, Keyboards, PDA Organizers, Telephones, Televisions, Stereos, MP3 Players, CD Players, VCRs, Cameras, Video Games, Fax Machines, Shredders, Small Household Appliances, Holiday Lights, and Microwave Ovens. In addition, participants were also able to dispose of texiles and styrofoam, packing peanuts and bubble wrap.During this event, we diverted the following from area landfills:1,072 pounds of textiles4.25 tons of e-waste, including 750 pounds of televisionsA cargo van full of styrofoam and packing peanutsIn November 2015, The Prairie PTO Environmental Awareness committee hosted a Pumpkin Pitch at Barrington High School to compost pumpkins and other organic Halloween/fall decorations. Why compost pumpkins?
- They are full of nutrients that are good for the soil.
- They are 90% water.
- Most of the pumpkins processed in the United States are grown in Illinois – composting them here will keep the water and nutrients here!
- Landfills are the 3rd largest producers of methane gas.
The Pumpkin Pitch resulted in 10,000 pounds of pumpkins being diverted from landfills!