Our very first project as a nonprofit was installing solar hot water heaters in a Chatham County school, and ever since then we have been collaborating with the school system to teach kids about sustainability and nutrition. Through innovative and creative programs like our Chef Challenge and Cafeteria Man, we’ve educated the administration and community about the importance of nutrition, local food, and thinking outside the box. We are currently working on major systems change, with a local food council, and collaborating with other organizations to make changes in this very large bureaucracy.
For two years, we ran a Kid’s Sustainability Summer Camp, teaching kids where their food and energy comes from, getting them out in nature, and teaching them DIY sustainability skills. We incorporate kids into lots of our events, like our special kids’ area at PepperFest, with the cardboard play zone, face painting and giant bubbles.
We host weekly tours of our Eco-Industrial Park for school groups, scout troops and other groups, where kids can learn about renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, pollinator habitat, medicinal and culinary herbs, conservation, edible landscapes, composting, water conservation, hydroponics, aquaponics, vermiculture digestion, and green building.
We also started a kids’ sustainability task force in collaboration with other local organizations, and we are working on developing a new pilot project for 2015.
Kids’ Sustainability Projects:
- Moncure School Solar Project: Our very first project as an organization was installing solar hot water heaters at a school that lacked hot water for the kids to wash their hands.
- Sustainability Summer Camps: We taught kids about organic gardening, biodiesel and more
- Chef Challenge: We brought star local chefs into the school cafeterias to develop healthy menu items using local produce.
- Cafeteria Man: We brought Cafeteria Man to the Piedmont, for a showing of the inspiring documentary film about his makeover of Baltimore City Schools’ lunches.
- Expert Panel: We assembled an expert panel on children’s nutrition and sustainability that is brainstorming ways to best teach kids about sustainability.
If you have ideas of how we can help kids to learn about sustainability and local economy, and empower them to build resilient community, get in touch!