Thursday, December 8, 2011

Oregon Girl Scouts Replace Plastic Forks and Spoons with Metal Utensils

The Oregonian reports that 13 girls from Girl Scouts Troop 40179 took on plastics and spearheaded an effort to have metal utensils in their school cafeteria.

The already Gold-certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building phased out plasticware in October and introduce mismatched metal utensils donated by parents.

Last spring, the Girl Scouts set up a meeting with principal Frank Luzaich, who gave them some homework: Identify key stakeholders, research the environmental effects, calculate the costs and savings, create a presentation for schoolmates, and put together a plan for a donation drive.

Part of their research was standing by trashcans during lunch for a week to count how many plastic spoons and forks were used and tossed out each day. With that data, they estimated 33,000 pieces of plasticware are used each year, which costs the school $1,700, troop leader and Edy Ridge mom Lisa Enger said.

Every girl – including the typically shy Whitney – took a speaking part at their five-minute presentation to the school in September. By October, they had collected enough metal utensils – 600 forks and 600 spoons for their 588 schoolmates – to launch the program.