Chicago Youth Learn About Recycling from the U.S. Green Building Council

Chicago Youth Learn About Recycling from the U.S. Green Building Council

On August 5, 2017, about 30 Chicago students spent their day learning about sustainable waste management and recycling practices. It was part of a program offered by the U.S. Green Building Council in its first annual recycling educational program.

The program is called Illinois Emerging Professionals Sustainability Day Camp. Donations from sustainNU, a University member of USGBC dedicated to furthering recycling efforts in the community, helped make the event possible for the students.

Starting Early to Create Habits of Recycling, Sustainability

This year, the camp took place in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood at the Elliott Donnelly Youth Center. Since the cost of the program was taken care of by donations from sustainNU, it was free for the middle schoolers who attended.

The participants enjoyed hands-on programs and activities with a focus on recycling techniques and sustainability. Other topics covered included storm water management, energy efficiency, urban gardening and even art projects related to recycling and sustainability.

Those overseeing sustainNU were excited about the opportunity because it was a chance for them to give back to the community. They are dedicated to assisting with the integration of sustainable practices into daily life, and these habits are best cultivated at an early age.

Chicago Organizations Committed to a Better World

Kathia Benitez, the director of sustainability at sustainNU, said the group was very proud to support a community event focused on social justice, recycling awareness and sustainability education. She said that as a USGBC member and University, sustainNU was committed to a better future for the planet through healthy, green and sustainable practices. Supporting the Illinois Emerging Professionals Sustainability Day Camp fit right into the group’s mission and vision.

One of the main goals of the program was to spark interest in science, recycling, a healthier world and related technologies and practices. Starting early increases the chance of children incorporating sustainable thinking and living into their lives. Professionals from all around the Chicagoland community convened to create and facilitate a range of vibrant activities. The entire experience was very hands-on for the children, but some of the activities also resulted in take-home projects and educational materials.

Gardening, Creativity Help Kids Integrate Sustainable Practices

For example, the students got an introduction to urban gardening through making a “seed package” with bio-degradable filter paper that could be planted in their yards at home. Some planted them in their youth center’s play area.

The kids also learned about the difference between incandescent bulbs and much more efficient LED bulbs. They also received souvenir T-shirts and notebooks to help remind them about what they learned at the event. The sustainNU donation also facilitated art supplies and refreshments at the event.

One of the art projects involved the children painting natural, sustainable images on foam bricks. Some of the paintings depicted wildlife, flowers, bees and portraits of nearby Lake Michigan. The bricks now form a “Sustainability Wall” that surrounds the youth center.

As a leader in recycling, waste management and waste diversion, Lakeshore Recycling Systems loves to hear about programs like this taking place in the community. If your business or residential area requires assistance with  recycling or waste management, you can count on us to help you connect with the most eco-friendly solution possible.

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