Tara Lynn-Perez, math teacher at The Henderson International School, is focused on a lot of things. Multiplication tables, long division, fractions – the usual stuff. But what you might not know is Tara’s other passion: to “eliminate the idea of waste.” She’s an avid proponent of a website/program called TerraCycle, an international recycling system for previously non-recyclable or hard-to-recycle waste, and she’s gotten the kids at her school hooked on the idea!
Here’s how it works…
Local programs, called Brigades, send TerraCycle their waste. TerraCycle then converts the collected waste into a wide variety of products and materials. The Brigades, then, receive points based on the number of items (waste) that they send in (2 points per item). The organization has more than 20 million people collecting waste in over 20 countries, and TerraCycle has diverted billions of units of waste and used them to create over 1,500 different products available at major retailers ranging from Walmart to Whole Foods Market.
The points can be redeemed to provide meals for hungry Americans, to preserve wildlife land, to give school supplies to homeless children, send money to charities ($.01 per point), and much more!
Lynn-Perez has done a great deal to bring this exciting program to The Henderson International School, and the kids are already getting into it. Each lunch table now has a waste basket, where children can place their lunch waste at the end of their meal, and the kids stay up to date on where and how the points are spent. Already the school has managed to gather 11,000 drink pouches, 3,000 chip bags and 600 plastic lunch containers. That translates to 29,200 points, and the number continues to grow every day!
Children who participate in recycling programs have been found to feel a greater connection to the environment, and every day recycling programs are increasing in commonality. Lynn-Perez’s involvement with TerraCycle has brought a new avenue for her students to get involved with renewable resources, helping these children learn how important their impact on the planet, and the lives of others, truly is.
Be sure to watch the video above to learn even more about TerraCycle, Tara Lynn-Perez’s views on the program and how the students at The Henderson International School are getting involved too!