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Picture of the fourth grade class at Oakhurst Elementary School
OES fourth graders learning about conservation and recycling

To Trash or Not to Trash, That is the Question

OAKHURST — Fourth grade students at Oakhurst Elementary School were recently invited to participate in the Zero Landfill Initiative through NatureBridge in Yosemite National Park.

The initiative is composed of various organizations such as Subaru of America, The Yosemite Conservancy, the National Parks Conservation Association and the National Park Service.

The initiative is only being carried out at three national parks: Yosemite, Grand Teton and Denali.

OES is honored to be participating in this program. Student “Green Team Ambassadors” will learn about the environment and what they can do to help make this planet a better place.

The Zero Landfill Initiative is an attempt to reduce the impact humans have on the environment by educating students about the different ways that waste can be diverted from landfills.

Students have had several sessions learning about what is recyclable or reusable. In one session, students brought in a variety of trash — potato chip bags, soda cans, laundry bottles and milk cartons.

In small groups, students collaborated and decided unanimously what category each item belonged. After they separated the garbage into each of the marked bins, these fourth graders learned that many things are recyclable or could be reused and some items would take decades to decompose.

Other sessions included students bringing in a variety of plastics, becoming aware of the recycle numbers located on each as well as how the little number in a triangle on plastic items tells its own story. Through this discovery lesson, they learned that not all plastics are recyclable or even reusable. They were also shown how an old t-shirt can be reused by creating a tote that could be used at school or the grocery store.

The NatureBridge environmental science educators visit the classrooms each week, providing fun, interactive science lessons.

This is a two-year project and the students are excited to become a “Green Team Ambassador” in their community.

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Sierra News Online

Sierra News Online