Don’t throw away that apple core! Students at the Waldorf School of Princeton turn peach pits and carrot peels into food for their garden on a regular basis with an on-site composting program. Their efforts in reducing waste and consumption through composting, recycling, upcycling, and reusable rather than disposable dining ware has earned them the Bronze Award with National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA program. This international program recognizes and provides free resources to schools integrating sustainability into the curriculum and on school grounds. This month, the school was also recognized as a Certified Wildlife Habitat with National Wildlife Federation for their work in maintaining school grounds that attract wildlife and help restore habitat.
The Waldorf School of Princeton joined Eco-Schools USA in 2012. This free and voluntary program has been gaining popularity in the garden state with 117 schools registered throughout New Jersey, up from just 43 last year. To win the Bronze Award schools establish an Eco-Team, conduct an environmental audit, develop an Eco-Action plan, evaluate and monitor the plan and include the community. Free resources are available on the Eco-Schools USA website that schools can easily adapt to meet their needs.
“We use our environment as a vehicle in all academic subjects to engage children in more effective and joyful learning,” says the Princeton school’s communications director, Jamie Quirk.