The Egg Harbor Township school district will work to eliminate the use of polystyrene cafeteria trays in its schools – an estimated 7,300 are thrown out per day, or 1.3 million per year — and reduce cafeteria waste overall by 50 percent.
In Middle Township, plans are to convert an elementary school courtyard to a “sustainability showcase,” featuring a greenhouse, rain barrels and compost bin, designed to teach about low-maintenance gardening and sustainability.
In the South-Orange-Maplewood school district, school officials plan to purchase high-efficiency vacuums and recycling containers for “green” cleaning, while at the Barack Obama Green Charter High School in Plainfield, students will be involved in a long-term project to plan and construct a “green” school building.
Those four projects, designed to provide “sustainable solutions to everyday challenges,” were the top grant recipients in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Small Grants program.
Funded by the PSEG Foundation, chosen by a selection committee from the worlds of academia, sustainability and others, each of the four programs will receive $10,000 for their proposed projects. The initiatives, all of which target different ways to increase sustainability in schools, were selected for providing “sustainable solutions to everyday challenges.”
In addition, 30 districts or schools from across the state received $2,000 “capacity-building” grants.
The full list of schools and districts that received grants is available online.