Clarke Middle School students on Green Clean-up Day - Courtesy image

Could you survive a month without single-use plastic?

Did you know that it can take up to 1,000 years for a plastic bag to disintegrate completely and that in the US, 100 billion of them are thrown away each year?

The Green Team at Clarke Middle School wanted not only to raise awareness about the growing problem of plastic waste but to provide an avenue to make a difference. 

After learning about the Plastic Free Challenge, a movement started in Australia where participants pledge to limit their single-use plastic consumption for a month, the Green Team decided to bring this challenge to the Clarke Community. 

All Clarke students watched a lively video following the day of a young woman who has taken the plastic-free challenge.  She talks viewers through her choices as she stops at a cafĂ©, goes to the supermarket market, buys snacks and prepares for dinner, all while trying to avoid single-use plastics – not an easy task!  

Students then filled out a survey to reflect on their habits and to invite them to join the plastic-free challenge for the month of April. 180 members of the Clarke community decided to participate and were entered into a surprise raffle for a gift certificate to eco-friendly store Center Goods. 

To celebrate and publicize the challenge, Clarke’s Green Team designed a bulletin board that stayed true to the mantra of reduce, reuse and recycle by using scrap paper and other repurposed materials…including “grass” made of hallway passes!  

As part of this month-long effort, Green Team also organized a Green up Clean up day around the school campus yielding about 5 bags of trash, much of it plastic.

To learn more about the plastic-free movement, go to

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1 Comment

  1. So proud of those students! It’s all about choices!!
    Keeping Mother Earth heathy is more important than buying “stuff” in plastic!

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