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Educating Students and Families on How to Reduce Waste at School and Home

IXG Education Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting sustainable, impactful pro-green behaviors in children, families and communities, today announces the official launch of its "Green School Experiment" educational program. Using grade-appropriate, standards-based activities and materials, the "Experiment" is designed to help students at participating schools adopt eco-friendly behaviors while saving money for families and communities by understanding the impact of waste on our environment and our wallets.

Beginning tomorrow, Fisher Elementary School in North Walpole, Mass., will kick off the first official Green School Experiment. Over the next two weeks, Fisher Elementary’s more than 500 students and staff will take part in the educational program to discover how they can personally make a measurable difference in reducing the volume of trash generated by their school.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), since 1960, the amount of waste produced in the United States annually has tripled, from 88.1 million tons in 1960 to 251 million tons in 2006. The per-capita generation of waste per-year has doubled from 2.7 pounds per-person/per-day to 4.6 pounds per-person/per-day. An astounding 33.9 percent of this trash results from paper or paper products associated with packaging.

"The environment simply cannot sustain the increasing waste generated by individual packaging. By helping our children adopt very simple pro-green behaviors we can make a dramatic impact on the volume of waste produced within our communities, while at the same time helping families save money by reducing the need to purchase more expensive individually packaged foods," said Victoria Waters, founder, IXG Education Foundation. "The IXG Education Foundation is committed to helping children make a positive impact on the environment through education. Through generous support of sponsor companies like Stop & Shop, donors, and the students, parents and staff involved, our goal is to take the Green Experiment to communities across the country."

IXG Education Foundation will provide each Fisher Elementary student and staff member with an IXG Green Pack — reusable water bottle, drink thermos, bottle brush cleaner, snack containers, organic cotton tee shirt, reusable shopping bag and instructional insert — to help make it easy for students and their families to achieve the Experiment’s goal of reducing school trash by 50 percent. During the two-week Experiment, students will be encouraged to:

  • Bring snacks in their reusable snack pack containers to eliminate individual snack packaging.
  • Use their thermoses to pack the right amount of milk they need for the day to reduce waste from milk cartons and left-over milk.
  • Shop for bulk-packaged snacks and drinks with their reusable shopping bags to reduce plastic and paper bag waste.
  • Participate in home-based activities that reinforce green education principles.
  • Use water bottles during and after school to eliminate waste from throwaway beverage containers and unconsumed drinks.
  • Calculate with their families the value of purchasing drinks and snacks in bulk rather than in individually-packaged containers.

The Experiment concludes on June 16, at which time IXG Education Foundation will work with school and community officials to measure the success of the program. Measurement criteria will include volume of trash for the two-week period before and the two-week period during the experiment; cost of trash removal for the two-week period before and the two-week period during the experiment; and the financial impact it would have for the town over a year if these green practices were sustained at all of its schools. Results from the Experiment will be available on the IXG Education Foundation website at www.ixgef.org.

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