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January 20, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Elizabeth K’s Montessori Class, Week 1

 

Elizabeth Kopper's Montessori class's plastic waste

Name: Elizabeth K’s Montessori Class

Week: 1

Personal Info:
I am a Montessori teacher at a charter Montessori school in Northern California. I am doing this project with the help of the students in my class. I have 18 students, and they are learning all about what plastic is doing to our planet. The items we collect each week will be a combination of all the families that send stuff in, along with what we collect during the week at school. It will also have my own collection.

Inside the peace sign of my plastic photo is a four step process for “forgiveness,” which is our character trait of the month.  My class and I discussed it this morning:

First, someone hurts you or you make a mistake.
Second, tell your feelings, and request an apology.
Third, apologize, and learn from your behavior.
Fourth, forgive yourself or others, and let go of your anger.

Total items: 250 (estimated)

Total weight: 3.44 lbs

Items: Recyclable
all plastic bottles
clean plastic bags (put together in one bag)

Items: Nonrecyclable
wrappings
deodorant
toy gun
basket
prescription bottles

What items can I replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
BAGS!

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Yogurt
deodorant
toy guns are easy
push pop suckers

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
none, from what we can tell

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
We need to take cloth bags with us everywhere, and find alternatives to bread in a plastic bag. Also, cut out some of the flimsy toys and candies.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Always willing to give up more bags!

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
This experiment is being done in conjunction with a bunch of families, so these questions may be hard to answer each week. I will be talking with my students about these questions and how they can reduce their plastic consumption. I am hoping to put some more of their voices into this challenge.

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1 comments
Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Elizabeth, I'm looking forward to finding out what your class learns from this exercise. Thanks for teaching them about this important subject.