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NOTICE: The Charter Vision project is dormant as of January 2008. This website is provided for archival purposes only.

Seniors Affect Styrofoam Use

Mai (Grade 11 / Community of Peace) Originally published March 2004
Editors’ note: Community of Peace Academy is a K-12 charter school in St. Paul, Minnesota.

A group of CPA seniors think recycling is important and that we should stop using Styrofoam (polysterene) products in the cafeteria. With Ms. Kersting’s help, the students entered a national contest designed to increase environmental awareness.

Students across the country submitted proposals for making their schools more environmentally friendly. At CPA, the seniors concentrated on Styrofoam. Styrofoam is not good for the environment because it is not recyclable. Styrofoam also releases harmful chlorofluorocarbons into the ozone layer.

At breakfast, students are given Styrofoam trays. Oatmeal is served in Styrofoam bowls. Breakfast alone generates five largebags of trash every day. Sometimes we use Styrofoam trays at lunch when the kitchen is short-staffed. Ms. Kersting’s students think we should use plastic trays instead of Styrofoam.

The group made a video documentary about recycling in the school. They will be making educational presentations to individual classes. Ms. Kersting said, “The students would also like to replace plastic condiment containers and plastic yogurt containers.” If the students win the contest CPA will be awarded $10,000. The application materials were sent in on December 19th.

On January 15th, after the Styrofoam task force presented their project to the Community of Peace Academy school board, the Board of Directors approved the purchase of reusable trays for breakfast to eliminate the use of Styrofoam breakfast plates.

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