Earth Corps promotes a greener world


Ailish Collins

Of all the waste in this photo, only the popcorn and snack wrappers belong in the trash. The food and paper is compostable and the can, milk carton and sandwich box are recyclable. Earth Corps is working hard to educate students on how to sort their food.

Liora Silkes, Reporter

 To improve the school’s composting system, Earth Corps recently replaced the signs that hang above the trashcans in the lunchroom, making the information clearer and easier to read. They also stand by the receptacles at lunch and help sort food. As of last month, they have nametags to identify them as Earth Corps volunteers.

Inglemoor is one of only seven schools in the district with a composting program and has gained recognition as a King County Level 1 Green School. This is an award given to local schools that have shown a commitment to waste reduction and recycling.

Even so, there is room for improvement. Just because there are trash, recycling and compost cans in the cafeteria does not mean that waste gets sorted properly.

“It’s always the compost and trash that seem to get mis-sorted,” sophomore Earth Corps member Jorden Swartz said.

Senior and Earth Corps vice president Sarah Hernandez says most students just don’t know  how to sort, but they are willing to learn.

“I see a lot of kids who are really dedicated,” Hernandez said. “They will come up and ask.”

Some of the most common sorting mistakes deal with separating parts of items, like plastic water bottles. While the container itself is recyclable, the cap is not. Another common mistake is that students will package all of their trash into a Ziploc bag and then put it in the trash. The bag is trash, but any food waste is compostable. Hernandez knows this may seem like an annoyance but says these small actions really make a difference.

“Once you get to doing [the sorting], it gets better,” NSD custodial coordinator Amber Donovan said.

Donovan works with custodial staff across the district and says that Inglemoor’s composting program is one of the best. The club knows Inglemoor can be even better. Earth Corps meets on Tuesdays during club time in room 809, and everyone is welcome to join. Students are also invited to help with sorting during lunches. The sign up is in the student center, and Valhalla hours are awarded.

“Taking the first step is great,” junior Earth Corps member Annie Lineman said. “Now we must take the initiative and follow through.”