Blog Archives

Carmel Middle School’s Green Club Toy Drive

For America Recycles Week, students in the Carmel Middle School Green Club chose to have a gently-used toy drive to promote “reusing” and reducing waste by giving new life to toys they were no longer using.  Over the course of a week, students and staff brought in about 1,000 toys/ books/ puzzles/ games. They gave the toys to the Julian Center, an Indianapolis shelter for families in crisis.  Each day of the week, students also read announcements giving facts about reducing trash, recycling, and reusing or repurposing items to keep them out of landfills.

CMS_Toy_Drive_1 CMS_Toy_Drive_2

Thanks to all who donated for this great cause!
Posted in Clubs

Reduce Carbon Emissions by Growing Your Own Garlic

Name MaryEllen St.Angelo
Title of Activity Reduce carbon emissions by growing your own garlic
Name of School Carmel Middle School
Time Needed: 1 club session (45 min)
Materials Needed:
  1. Planter pots (we used three that were about 18 in. tall and had a 12 in. diameter on top). 
  2. Soil (we used homemade leaf compost soil plus a bit of yard soil) 
  3. Organic garlic bulbs 
  4. Drop cloth 
  5. Computer for research
Description of Activity:
  1. Have kids guess where garlic is grown. Then look it up on computer.
  2. Choose a state/country where it is grown.
  3. Use the following website to calculate how much fuel is used to transport garlic from that location. The website also tells how many pounds of CO2 are released into the atmosphere due to the transport, plus how many trees are needed to offset that CO2. Note that semi trucks get 5-8 mpg!
  4. The kids plant the garlic in the pots of soil. Have them break off cloves from the bulb, leaving on the papery “skin.” Plant 2 inches deep and 5 inches apart, tips up. Garlic will be ready to harvest next summer. Each clove bears a bulb.
Posted in Green Club Ideas

Crayon Recycling Drive

Name Tara Renner
Title of Activity Crayon Recycling Drive
Name of School Orchard Park Elementary
Time Needed: 30 minutes
Materials Needed: Many shoeboxes with lids; one for each classroom at school (have children donate), several pairs of scissors, glue, crayons for coloring, and the labels for the boxes which can be requested through the website:
Description of Activity: opcrayonrecycleMake enough copies of the box labels so that there will be one for each box. Let the children color the labels. While most of them are coloring, either an adult or some of the older children can cut holes in the lids of the boxes for the crayons to be dropped in. The holes should be big enough to allow the crayons to fit. When the box covers are all colored, glue them to the boxes. Cut out the holes where you previously made an opening for the crayons. Assign pairs of children to deliver the boxes to the classrooms, leaving one at the door of each room. At the beginning of each month’s meeting, you will send a reminder to the teachers to leave their crayon boxes outside their doors. You can decide on a rotation system so that teams of children can do the monthly collection, where they will travel the halls with heavy duty bags to empty the boxes to pick up the crayons. (If you rotate, it will allow the kids to take turns). At the end of the year, follow the i nstructions on the website for how to donate the crayons. They really love this monthly activity and they feel important when they are given the job of picking up the crayons!
Posted in Green Club Ideas

Smoky Row Green Club Loves to Recycle!

SR_ARD_bulletin_boardStudents from Smoky Row’s Green Club made this bulletin board for America Recycles Day showing not only which students like to recycle, but some items that are recyclable.  What a great way to promote recycling!

Posted in America Recycles Day, Clubs

Towne Meadow’s Book Drive

Students at Towne Meadow will participate in a very worthwhile project to help celebrate America Recycles Day.  They will be having a book drive and will donate the books to the local Red Cross.  The Red Cross has a book mobile to help get the books to the families they serve. This is the only Red Cross book mobile in the country!  Towne Meadow families donated 321 books!  Nice job!

What a great way to reuse books!

Posted in America Recycles Day

Green Tips Bulletin Board

Submitted By MaryEllen St.Angelo
Title of Activity Green Tips Bulletin Board
Name of School Carmel Middle School
Time Needed: 1 club session + approx 2hrs
Materials Needed: Access to computer lab and color printer, camera, earthy-colored scrapbooking paper, bulletin board at school.
Description of Activity: 1. Students researched on computer to create a green tip, preferably with a statistic and a graphic to grab reader interest.
2. They printed their tip out at school and glued it to a piece of 12″x12″ scrapbook paper.
3. Club parents took the students’ photos (if permitted) and later printed them and mounted them on the students’ papers with their green tips. Students’ names were printed below their photos.
4. Club parents arranged students’ green tips on a bulletin board outside the school cafeteria.
Posted in Green Club Ideas

Carmel Elementary Green Machine Says No to Water Bottles

CEbottlesculptureStudents in the Carmel Elementary Green Machine have been learning about bottled water this year, and they found a creative way to share their knowledge.  First, they watched “The Story of Bottled Water,” a short video that exposes how bottled water is of no higher quality than the average tap water in the US.  The video also teaches how much petroleum is used to make the plastic bottles and what happens to all of the bottles after people are finished drinking the water.  After learning all of this, the kids wanted to show the rest of their classmates how many bottles of water are used at their school Movie Nights.  They collected the bottles from the February movie night, counted them, measured out their length (great math practice!), and talked about how much petroleum was used to produce those bottles.  Then, the students strung the bottles together and hung them from an old bicycle tire to create a “bottle chandelier” that they hung in the Carmel Elementary lobby for all to see.

Before the March Movie Night, the club sent a notice to all families attending, asking them to bring their own reusable water bottle.   The response was amazing: about 80% of the students at the March movie night brought their own reusable bottle!  Congratulations, Carmel Elementary!

Posted in Clubs

Orchard Park’s Crayon Recycling Project

opcrayonrecycleOrchard Park’s Green Club students have begun a fun recycling project that will keep thousands of stubby crayons out of landfills! They even have the whole school participating.

First the green club students brought enough shoe boxes for each classroom to have their own.  At that meeting one of their “stations” (since they have so many kids in their club) decorated the boxes, and the parent leaders asked the teachers via email to use the boxes in their rooms.

On the day before club meetings, the club asks the teachers to set the collection boxes by their door. A small team led by one 5th grade boy who is Judy’s “assistant” goes down the halls with a cloth grocery bag, and the kids dump the crayons into the bag.

Judy takes them home and weighs them so they can be colored onto the tote board (for the school to see how much they are recycling).  Their goal is 20 pounds and they may hit it! They only started at the end of last semester.

They will ship the crayons at the end of the year or perhaps in 2 separate shipments. For more info, check out the following link:

Posted in Clubs Tagged with:

Carmel Middle School Students Awarded Micro-Grant for “Mission: Recycle”

DSCN0319Students in Carmel Middle School’s Green Club wanted to make a difference at their school, so when the opportunity came along to apply for a micro-grant to fund a green project, they discussed how they could make a significant impact. The students all agreed that their school generated lots of trash, much of which could be recycled. The students applied for funds through the Carmel Green Teen Micro-Grant program to buy ten recycling containers for the middle school. Some containers will be placed in the cafeteria and others will be put out at both athletic and fine arts events. Students in the club will spend time educating their fellow students about what can be recycled and where to put it through live announcements, posters, and the school newspaper. Congratulations, Carmel Middle School!

To read more about the Carmel Green Teen Micro-Grant program, go to

Posted in Clubs

Clay Middle School Students Pros at Cafeteria Recycling

ClayMSrecyclingThese kids have it down! While many schools in the district are still working out the practical details of cafeteria recycling, Clay Middle School students have spent the last 7 months recycling everything from yogurt containers to salad trays to beverage bottles.

How did they do it? A handful of students and parents spent a week at the beginning of this school year educating the rest of the school as to where to put their trash when finished with their lunch. They made signs with recyclable items attached to them to show what should go into a designated recycling container instead of the trash. Then, students and parents stood by the trash and recycling containers, directing the students where to put their “trash.” Most of it goes into the recycling now! Their custodians are vital partners as well, bringing the recyclables to the co-mingled dumpster outside the building.

Congratulations, Clay Middle School!

Posted in News