Eighteen students at Maui Preparatory Academy have taken their lessons in sustainability to the cafeteria and have initiated a switch from plastic to reusable utensils.
As part of their coursework, the students in Lori Fleuter fourth grade class looked for areas where the school creates excessive amounts of plastic waste and brainstormed how to reduce consumption.
They began by examining the waste produced in the lunchroom and found that 60% of the plastic garbage generated by students was plastic flatware, wrappers and bags.
The students calculated that as a result of switching to reusable items, the school would eliminate 460 pounds of plastic trash every year.
Instead of buying plastic utensils, the school could purchase just 200 sets of reusable utensils.
The Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation and To-Go Ware have provided funding for the project, supporting the school’s effort to educate students about sustainable living by providing reusable eco-friendly bamboo ware for the student body.
School administrators say Maui Preparatory Academy “has made a fundamental commitment to protecting the environment through continuous improvement of the school’s energy performance, active waste reduction and recycling programs.” According to the administration, teachers and students are making sustainable choices every day to keep the ʻāina healthy.
“Part of this choice is to educate our students about the impact they have on the environment and how to reduce the amount of waste they create,” administrators said.