School Trays Made of Sugar are Sweet News to Us
Did you know that disposable polystyrene foam goods enjoy a usage time of only about 30 minutes but, whether incinerated, landfilled, littered or recycled, they leave a trail of toxic particles that last forever?
So Hip Hip Hooray! New York City and five other large school districts-Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami and Orlando-agreed to purchase environmentally friendly lunch trays for their schools starting this fall. The round biodegradable plates are made of a sugar cane byproduct. The Urban School Alliance's bid for over 271,000 million of the new trays will keep that many more million carcinogenic, polystyrene trays out of our landfills.
The move away from single-use polystyrene to "green" trays could never have happened without the work of grassroots movements, such as Cafeteria Culture, founded by public school mom Debby Lee Cohen. Starting in 2009 Cohen and her kid-driven program began agitating for action, often staging protests with large puppets made of Styrofoam. Fifteen other city groups joined with them in their cause, and the result: in December 2013 The New York City Council voted Yes for Intro 1060 to ban disposable polystyrene foam-not just in schools but in restaurants, and food carts.
Examples like this are so inspiring for us at Skraptacular-showing how much can be done when like-minded community members band together and get youth involved in actions that save our planet. What are you doing?
Who Were the Greenest Presidents in the White House?
While kids revel in a week away from reading, writing and 'rithmetic, let's remember that this is "Presidents Week." Skraptacular would like to remember the presidents who have done the most for our environment. Do you know who they are? Here are four...
- George Washington can be considered our nation's first colonial composter. His "repository for dung," was the first of its kind in our nation. Washington also introduced crop rotation and used many land conservation measures after seeing the damage tobacco wreaked on Virginia's soil
- Both Roosevelts conserved our national treasures. Theodore Roosevelt created the first National Bird Preserve at Pelican Island, FL, and he established the U.S. Forest Service, creating more than 190 million acres of new national forest, parks and monuments. As part of the New Deal, nephew Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps, which provided work for millions of unemployed men, who planted billions of trees, built our hiking trails, cleaned up streams and constructed more than 800 parks across the nation.
- Richard Milhaus Nixon is best known for being forced out of office due to the Watergate scandal, but we can thank him for several environmentally friendly acts and policies; he created the Environmental Protection Agency, signed the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1973, and the Endangered Species Act of 1974.
Honor your favorite eco-president by placing his portrait in a DIYup-cycled newspaper frame
Click here for more info on eco-prezzies
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