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Nominations sought for King County’s Earth Heroes at School awards program

Summary

King County is seeking nominations for the Earth Heroes at School program which recognizes students, teachers, staff, school volunteers, programs and even entire schools that are doing the important work of protecting the environment and teaching others to do the same.

Story

Nominations for the 2016 Earth Heroes at School are due March 11, and winners will be honored at an event May 5. Earth Heroes can be nominated by colleagues, classmates and the public. Self-nominations are also encouraged.

Nomination forms are available by contacting Donna Miscolta, 206-477-5282, donna.miscolta@kingcounty.gov, and online at https://your.kingcounty.gov/solidwaste/education/earth-heroes.asp.

Nominations can be made in any of the following categories:

• Waste reduction, reuse, or recycling
• Food waste prevention or food waste collection for composting
• Household hazardous waste prevention or management
• Sustainable gardening, landscaping, or building
• Climate change education or greenhouse gas emissions reduction

The Earth Heroes at School Program allows King County to express its gratitude for the contributions environmental leaders in our schools make toward a more sustainable future locally and beyond. By acknowledging their work, the county hopes to inspire others to adopt similar actions to protect the environment.

The program is offered through the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks.

Here are a few of the 2015 Earth Heroes at School honorees:

• Alexandria Chuang, a Garfield High School student, organized a forum on race, class, and environmentalism, focusing on food justice. Participants explored barriers to participation in environmentalism, and Alexandria led a reflection and debriefing session as well as a discussion of solutions. 

• Carol Hall and Teresa O’Shea, teachers at Tolt Middle School created a four-week household hazardous waste project for their sixth-graders. Students surveyed their homes for hazardous products, researched safer alternatives to chemical products, and prepared a presentation for their families.

• Judy Ellis, a teacher at Secondary Academy for Success and a leader in the school’s recycling program since 2005, oversaw a weekly waste audit, helped obtain reusable water bottles for students, and ensured the use of compostable dishes and utensils in the lunchroom, all of which contributed to an 84 percent recycling rate.

• The Issaquah School District achieved a recycling rate of 56 percent as a result of all 24 of its schools improving their recycling and waste reduction programs. A district-wide Green Team of teachers and custodians meets three times a year to share best practices. Issaquah School District is a model for other districts.