News

Stepping Away from our Disposable Culture

June 09, 2014
 
With a global increase in awareness over the past few decades about the health of our fragile planet, people have become more concerned about the harm posed by plastic products on our environment. As a result, consumers, governments, nonprofits, and even businesses have begun taking action against the use of disposable and single-use plastic products. Reducing the use of plastic bags has been an effective strategy, and placing a tax on their use, or banning them altogether, has become commonplace around the globe.
 
Read more here at LoaTree.

Jack Johnson’s Charity To Match Donations To Green Classroom Projects

April 11, 2014

To celebrate Earth Day 2014, Jack Johnson's Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation will match up to $25,000 in donations to “green” classroom projects on DonorsChoose.org, an online charity that makes it easy to support public school students in need. 

Projects qualifying for this offer focus on reducing waste and single-use plastics in schools and communities across the country.

You can read the rest here.

Kokua Hawaii Green Programs Impress EPA

February 28, 2014
By PAIGE TAKEYA
 
For some people, a lifestyle change can start with swapping a plastic bag for a reusable one. Kim Johnson and the Kahuku-based Kokua Hawaii Foundation truly believe it.
 
“Some people, they start with the bag, then they start carrying around the reusable water bottle and it just becomes habit,” Johnson said. “Then you start seeing, ‘Oh wow, I don’t need to take a straw because that’s disposable; I only use it once,’ or you start thinking about where plastics come in in other areas of your life.”
 
 
Johnson and musician husband Jack founded KHF 10 years ago to establish environmental education programs in schools and the community. What started with a recycling program has expanded to include multiple projects involving thousands of students around the state.
 
And those outreach efforts have earned the attention of the U.S. EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region, which named the organization one of its eight 2013 Environmental Champions. “The exciting thing for us is to know that environmental education is making its way to be seen on the national level, which is so important for the movement, especially for the farm-to-school and school garden movement that we’re really involved in here in Hawaii,” Johnson said.
 
Current KHF projects include ‘AINA In Schools, a farm-to-school focus on everything from nutrition to salad bars; 3R’s School Recycling, promoting waste reduction in 50 schools; and KHF Field Trip Grants and Mini-Grants, which support small, teacher-driven projects.
 
“It’s really amazing to see in the last 10 years, the consciousness has changed. More and more teachers … are taking on these environmental issues, and a more sustainable lifestyle is becoming more mainstream,” Johnson said.
 
KHF’s newest effort is Plastic Free Hawaii, helping to reduce Hawaii’s single-use plastic consumption by distributing reusable bags and getting the message out at farmers markets and other sites. Johnson said they are pushing the campaign hard in light of the upcoming July 1, 2015, ban on plastic bags on Oahu.
 
“I think (what we do) really shows people the ‘why’ behind trying to curb our dependence on single-use plastics,” Johnson said.
 
Also new is the Hawaii School Bottle Cap Collection Challenge. KHF can recycle the caps that are normally thrown away during plastic bottle recycling. The contest runs until March 31 and is open to all Hawaii schools. Interested groups should visit kokuahawaiifoundation.org/bottlecapchallenge for more information.
 
KHF always welcomes contributions, and ‘AINA In Schools in particular relies on volunteers to both teach lessons and help prep campus gardens for students.
 
Upcoming recycling drives are set for March 8 at Kaelepulu Elementary and March 22 at Mililani Waena Elementary. The next beach cleanup also is March 22.
 
For details, visit kokuahawaiifoundation.org or email info@kokuahawaiii.org.
 
Original article can be found here

Ten NYC Eco-Schools Raise Over $30,000 With ioby

December 19, 2013

orginal source from Wildlife Promise

Guest post by Amy Sirot

Ten NYC Eco-Schools are in the midst of an exciting collaboration with ioby, a crowd-resourcing platform for citizen-led neighborhood projects. Each school has chosen a worthy greening project in need of funding, ranging from a recycling program to a rooftop aquaponic greenhouse lab, and with ioby’s help, the funds are flowing in.
“When we surveyed our schools, both in 2012 and 2013, over 50% of teachers said that they lacked resources to implement green projects,” said Emily Fano, NYC Outreach Manager for Eco-Schools USA. “We’re thrilled about our partnership with ioby because they’re providing teachers and parent volunteers with the knowledge and skills they need to become effective fundraisers.”
 
Since mid-October, ioby has been providing representatives from each school with training on how to create their own crowd-funding campaigns; this has included a series of group coaching sessions by phone, tools and templates to work with, and individualized “office hours.”
 
“We were thrilled to work in partnership with NWF, serving these Eco-Schools with plans to make sustainability a bigger part of their schools,” says ioby co-founder and COO Brandon Whitney. “We often see that great leaders lack timely, right-sized funding to bring their ideas to life. ioby uses a digital platform and behind-the-scenes training to ensure that leaders get the resources they need, all while building a base of supporters along the way,” says Whitney.
 
ioby also boosted this partnership with a dollar-for-dollar match funded by the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation. All of this generosity has helped schools like PS84, an underserved public elementary school on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, raise money for green projects. PS84 has raised all but $57 of the $6,215 needed for one semester of learning in their Urban Roots Science Garden. This is particularly important for them, as the school has no budget for a full-time science teacher.

Another success story is The Youth Farm, in East Flatbush/Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The farm already serves as an outdoor classroom for the High School for Public Service, and now the farm managers want to provide this opportunity to the other four schools housed in the same building. They’ve raised 100% of the $14,985 they need to expand their reach and engage more students, particularly those who struggle most with traditional classroom education.
 
PS32, in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn, is hoping to jumpstart their recycling program with the money they raise. So far they’ve raised $2,969 of the $3,933 they need to buy recycling bins for all of their classrooms and common spaces, set up recycling stations and signs, and educate their students and staff about recycling.
 
The amount each school needs varies widely. Some are looking for as much as $46,000 to build rooftop greenhouses or aquaponic labs and others as little as a few thousand to start recycling initiatives or small gardens. But whether they’ve received $100, $1000, $10,000 or more, each school will keep the money they’ve raised, even if they don’t meet their goal; and they’ve learned some valuable fundraising skills along the way. That’s good news for everyone in the ioby/Eco-Schools program, which ends on December 20th, 2013.

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