Henry Barnard students analyze trash from Green-Up, Clean-Up event

Students total and categorize trash collected during Green-Up, Clean-Up Day.
The annual Green-Up, Clean-Up Day at RIC is a chance for students, faculty and members of the community to spread awareness of the college’s “green” efforts and come together to beautify the campus.

Students from the Henry Barnard School (HBS) – the youngest members of the RIC community – have analyzed trash collected at the clean-up event for the last two years.

This year, Lynda Thompson’s fourth grade class tabulated data from the trash collected at the second annual Green-Up, Clean-Up event, which took place on Sept. 17.

“HBS students … never fail to bring significant insights and passion to any discussion in which they participate,” said Dante Del Giudice, member of the Green Team and director of continuing education and summer sessions at RIC.
“Their deep and sincere response to sustainability issues is heartening given the relative absence of green interest and activism in the broader public,” he said.

On Green-Up, Clean-Up Day, RIC volunteers recorded types of trash they collected. Thompson distributed the data to her students, having them total numbers on chart paper from several categories, including “food and drink packaging” and “tobacco related items.”

Thompson’s students recorded a shocking number of one particular item: 2,475 cigarette butts. The fourth-graders also counted 1,597 food wrappers, which came in second to cigarettes.

HBS students analyzed and charted trash collected at the Green-Up, Clean-Up event.
Together, these two items accounted for over 70 percent of the trash collected.

HBS students provided the same service at RIC’s first Green-Up, Clean-Up event, and provided recommendations to undergraduate and graduate students to keep the campus free of litter, such as to stop smoking and recycle cans and bottles.

As one member of RIC’s Green Team wrote on the club’s blog after the clean-up last year, “the prospect of school children initiating and leading campaigns for adult green education was a refreshing, heartening, and a truly original idea.”