Lincoln Middle School fights climate change by reducing food waste

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Lincoln Middle School participated in an initiative to reduce food waste. It’s part of a study being done by the University of Illinois.

Students are working to create a cleaner future for themselves.

“My future of the world will be hot and we won’t be able to live a long time,” said Brianna Najera, a sixth grader at Lincoln Middle School. 

Brianna Najera is one of several sixth graders at Lincoln Middle School who is thinking globally, but acting locally.

She and the other students were practicing No Food Waste Day, where each grade level separates their trash from their school lunch.

Their teacher Susan Griffeth is the one who got them thinking about taking responsibility.

“Basically if we don’t change our ways, we’re not going to have our planet and the older people know it, but we’re not doing anything about it,” said Susan Griffeth, a science teacher at Lincoln Middle School. “The younger people, I mean these guys have decided to do one thing, so I think it’s important that we at least do what we can. All of us.”

“Right now, it’s important because of global warming, the world will be filled with landfills and we won’t be able to do anything,” Najera said.

On April 12th, they weighed how much food waste the students tossed out in just one day, 157 pounds. On Tuesday, that number was down almost half to just 80 pounds.

The total number of compostable waste fell from 43 pounds, down to 12 pounds, which means they either ate it or put what they didn’t want onto the share cart.

Non-compostable waste dropped from 58 pounds down to 28 pounds.

Najera says this is a small step toward protecting Mother Earth.

“It will save it from not throwing it away into landfills, in the oceans or have the animals eating the plastic,” Najera said. 

The students and staff at Lincoln Middle School say this is the only planet we have and what they stand for is what they live on.

“The truth is if we can’t take care of this planet, what makes us think we can take care Mars, so we have to really learn how to survive,” Griffeth said. 

Something interesting the students do is have a share cart. If you don’t  want it, you can put it on the cart. 

What is leftover from the end of the day will go to a homeless shelter. All the compost waste from Tuesday is going to the school’s garden.

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