Student Green Team members with Zero Waste Stewardship certificates
In the heart of Mill Valley, California, a school community was buzzing with excitement, and the air was filled with cheers of triumph. This was a day to celebrate, as Strawberry Point Elementary School accomplished something extraordinary—they became the very first school to earn Platinum Certification in the Zero Waste Marin Schools Program. “This means we’ve been incredible at sorting our trash!” a student leader announced to her community during the all-school assembly. “Let’s keep it going!”
I attended this assembly to present the Strawberry community with their well-deserved Platinum certification plaque, awarded on behalf of SEI and our partner, the County of Marin. Strawberry’s Platinum Certification is not a mere formality, but a testament to the school’s unwavering commitment to sustainability and waste reduction. Accepting the certification plaque, Strawberry's principal Kimberley Russell declared, “I am very proud of our Green Team and I hope more students will join and lead the way towards zero waste.”
SEI project coordinator Jessica Carver and Strawberry principal Kimberley Russell
At the heart of Strawberry’s zero waste efforts is the Green Team, a group of over 40 passionate students. During the assembly, two returning members of Strawberry’s Green Team, addressed their fellow students. “Green Team is so much fun,” they told us. “You get to make new friends and learn so many new things. Even though you need to give up some of your lunch time, it’s totally worth it. You get to learn the responsibility of doing great for our school.”
Last year, the Green Team embarked on a diverse array of activities, from assisting with lunchtime waste sorting to creating compelling campaigns, informative videos, and engaging announcements. They even organized competitions and advised the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) on adopting greener practices for school events. The Green Team’s influence extended far beyond the school's boundaries, as they collaborated with the school board, designed custom waste sorting signage, and partnered with the student council to make Earth Day and sustainability events a resounding success.
In recognition of their unwavering dedication, Green Team members were presented with Zero Waste Stewardship certificates on behalf of the County of Marin, the Mill Valley School District, and SEI during a school-wide assembly.
Green Team members presented with Zero Waste Stewardship certificates
The driving force behind the Green Team’s success is a collective effort led by their dedicated Green Team Leads, Lulu Monti and Danny Gasparini. These visionary leaders structured the program, organized Green Team meetings, and orchestrated numerous waste reduction projects. The custodians at Strawberry Point Elementary School also played an indispensable role, ensuring the success of their waste reduction initiatives.
Strawberry Point Elementary School's journey to Platinum Certification is a shining example of what can be achieved when a community comes together with a shared purpose. Their story is an inspiration, reminding us that even the smallest of actions can lead to significant change and a brighter, more sustainable future for us all.
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