Green Teams in Action: John Rogers Elementary

Note: Posts before 2020 reflect EarthGen’s former name, Washington Green Schools.

John Rogers Elementary has made smart waste management a part of their campus culture – but they also wanted to address the materials that can’t make it in the recycling bin.

One of the biggest culprits? Plastic bottle caps. In the Seattle area, caps that are screwed very tightly onto bottles can be recycled – but it other parts of the state, they have to be tossed into the trash. By collecting caps throughout the school year, the Green Team took action to display this waste issue in a creative way.

Mission accomplished! The Otters at Play mural is comprised of the bottle caps collected on campus. The Green Team collaborated with Nathan Hale senior George Oakenfold to make the project a success. They:

  • Setup collection bins around the school
  • Engaged the neighborhood by sharing news of their project and setting up collection bins in community centers
  • Worked with volunteers to design, create, and mount the mural
  • Shared the inspiring news with their community.

Reflections from neighbors are a testament to the impact of the project. Members of the community said:

  • “I love the way you combined such a unique and meaningful creative expression with reusing a common throwaway.”
    – Shannon, Ravenna
  • “Way to reuse and create and build community!”
    – Cornelia, Matthews Beach

The mural at John Rogers is an inspiring visual – and a reminder to repurpose waste and choose reusable bottles over the disposable alternative.