DLA employee celebrates Earth Day teaching elementary students about recycling

By Emily Tsambiras DLA Distribution Public Affairs

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One DLA Distribution employee went above and beyond to celebrate Earth Day April 21, volunteering her time to teach local second-graders the importance of taking care of the environment.

Sarah Moor, Environmental Protection Specialist with DLA Installation Support for Distribution, has spent many years preparing environmental outreach opportunities and came up with the idea to work with the children at Fairview Elementary school this year because of her son.  “I contacted his teacher to see if she was interested in me volunteering my time to do something for Earth Day.  I started doing Earth Day outreach events when I worked for the Marine Corps in Okinawa, Japan, as an environmental coordinator.  I [also] coordinated a recycling race a few years ago when I worked with the Harrisburg Air National Guard as their Environmental Manager.” 

For the day’s events, Moor first taught the students how recycling works, providing examples of items made from recycled materials, explaining the ‘3 R's’ (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), and explaining single stream recycling, which allows for recyclables to be comingled prior to pick up.

Moor also discussed other activities students can do in honor of Earth Day, such as a roadway clean-up event and planting trees.   

After the information session, Moor had the second grade classes challenge one another in a recycling race.  

“I gave each class a bag mixed with recyclables and trash.  The kids had to sort out the recyclable items and run relay-style with the recyclables across the gym to a recycling collection bin (reused cardboard box) and place the recyclable items in it.  They had to put any trash they found into the trash bag.  The team to complete the race first and separate the items correctly won,” said Moor.  

According to Moor, the race was run twice.  The first was to test the students’ initial recycling knowledge and knowledge gained from the previous discussion.  “After the first race, I went through [the students’] recycling box and showed them items that shouldn't be recycled, such as aluminum foil, Styrofoam, Ziploc plastic bags, paper towels, and tissue paper.”  

The students then participated in the race a second time, based on the corrections made in the first round. 

Following the games, Moor gifted each student with a reusable bag and a children’s book about recycling.  They also received a local flyer outlining what is, and is not, recyclable.

“Hopefully I have ‘planted a seed’ with these kids and have inspired them to recycle on a daily basis,” said Moor.