Go Green

Go Green Committee

go green logo.jpg

What We Do:

The Go Green Committee coordinates activities and programs designed to raise awareness and reduce the impact that Hawthorne school and the school community have on the environment. 


Year-Round Collections at Hawthorne

Recycling at PTA Events 

Eco Party Kits & Tablecloths 

Eco Craft Ideas 

What’s a Waste Free Lunch and Why is it Important?

Year Round Collections

Hawthorne School Collects These Items Year-Round!

Hawthorne helps the environment by sending packaging waste to recycling locations instead of landfills! We have kept tens of thousands of ‘non-recyclables’ out of landfills in 4 years and earned over $1,000 in cash/charitable donations from Terracycle.

Our labeled recycling bins, unless otherwise notes, are near the lost and found, across from the office. Please put any items in the appropriate bin. Empty out crumbs at home please! Thanks!


Beauty Product Packaging

Hair care: shampoo/conditioner bottles/caps, hair gel or paste tubes/caps, hair spray bottles, triggers

Skin care: lip balm tubes, face/body soap and lotion dispensers/bottles, shaving foam tubes (no cans).

Cosmetics: lipstick, eyeliner, powder, eye shadow cases, mascara tubes, foundation packaging/bottles, lip/eyeliner pencils, concealer tubes/sticks

Cereal Bags

Empty plastic cereal bags and box liners. Empty them out at home and recycle them at Hawthorne!

Granola Bar Foil-lined Wrappers

Foil-lined wrappers from energy bars, granola bars, and other bars. This container will be in lunchroom.

Oral Care

Toothpaste tubes and caps,toothbrushes, toothbrush outer packaging, and floss containers

Air Fresheners

Air freshener cartridges, plugs, packaging, flexible film packaging, trigger heads, and aerosol containers

Dried-out Markers

Any type of used markers are sent to Crayola who uses a “unique technology” to create a usable fuel.

Used Printer Cartridges

Any type of ink jet

Bread Tags

Square clips used to seal bags of bread, bagels, produce. This container will be in the library

Unused Keys

SCARCE takes all metal keys to a scrap metal recycler, so clean out your drawers & bring in unused keys.


Used corks from wine bottles (not plastic but cork ones only) This container will be in the library.

Eco Party Kits and Tablecloths

You Can Make your Classroom Party or PTA Event More Sustainable by Choosing Reusable Hospitality Supplies – and Save Money as Well!


There are four Eco Party Kits available for use at classroom parties and other PTA events. 

The kits are located in the PTA storeroom (back section) unless otherwise noted close to holiday party time. If you need a larger water jug, the PTA also has two 5-gallon yellow jugs available.
Each kit contains:

1 two-gallon water jug

1 set of plastic cups (32 cups)

1 plastic carrying case

1 empty plastic bag


Guidelines for use: 

  • Sign the kit out before using, and sign back in upon return (The sign out sheet is in a folder near the kits in the PTA storeroom).
  • The gallon jugs should be used for water only.  
  • Lids must be slightly loosened before water will flow out the spigot. 
  • Collect used cups in the plastic bag to keep them separate from any unused cups.
  • Wash and thoroughly dry cups, carrying case and gallon jug before return.
  • Cups are top-rack dishwasher safe. 
  • Keep kits away from common allergens.
  • Return promptly. This is especially important during holiday party week and end-of-year picnic week when several groups may need them each day.


The PTA also has a set of 13 red fabric tablecloths available for PTA events and hospitality purposes.  They are located in the PTA storeroom. Consider using them for the Holiday Gift Sale tables, Book Sale tables, indoor classroom parties, end-of-year luncheon, etc.

Guidelines for use:

  • Sign tablecloth(s) out before using and sign back in upon return. (The sign out sheet is in a folder near the tablecloth bins in the PTA storeroom)
  • Wash tablecloths in cold water, dry and fold prior to return.
  • No need to iron. They are fairly wrinkle-free.
  • Please do not use at outdoor events.


Recycling at the PTA Events

Recycling at PTA Events


Hawthorne students, teachers and staff recycle in every classroom,

the lunchroom and teacher’s lounge. Recycling should also occur
at all PTA events. Please familiarize yourself and your committee
with what can and cannot be recycled at your event.

A recycling bin should be placed next to the trash bin at each event.
There is a recycling bin in nearly every room at Hawthorne,
and two large recycling bins in the old gym/lunchroom.

See information below:

What’s Recyclable/What’s Not 

Which bins to use 

What IS recyclable at Hawthorne:


GreenRecyclingSymbol.jpg• Plastic bottles and containers with recycling symbols 1-7 (except #6 foam).
   Containers should be 95% empty.

• Aluminum cans, foil, etc.

• Milk cartons, other dairy and juice cartons
• Tin or steel cans

• Glass bottles and jars

• Paperboard (ie: cereal boxes or similar)

• Flattened cardboard

• Newspapers, magazines, office paper, brown paper bags, phone books

What is NOT recyclable:


TrashCan.jpg• Plastic bags of any kind

• Plastic wrap, candy wrappers, chip bags

• Plastic utensils

• Straws

• Juice pouches (collected in separate bins for TerraCycle)

• Paper napkins

• Unmarked plastics (those that don’t have a recycling triangle on them 

   such as peel-off lids from fruit cups, etc.) 

• Foam containers (even if they have a #6 recycling symbol on them)

• Containers with food or other trash inside (must be at least 95% empty)

• Liquids (dump leftovers in liquid bucket before recycling)

• Food

Events without liquids:


• Ice Cream Social

• Book Fair

• Science and Hobby Night

For outdoor events, trash and recycling bins should be wheeled outside and placed next to each other. Bins can be found in the old gym. Please move bins back to the gym after your event.

Events with liquids:

Bins with liquid.jpg

• First Day of School Coffee
• Hot Dog Picnic Lunch (pour leftover water on bushes)

• Hawthorne Happening (2 sets in new gym)
• School Dance (2 sets in new gym)

• Room Coordinator Luncheon
• End-of-Year Luncheon

• Events where drinks are sold or consumed

Containers and cups with liquids inside should be emptied before going in the trash or recycling bins. Liquid buckets can be found in the old gym/lunchroom. Place liquid buckets next to the recycling bins.

Classroom events:

classroom.jpg• Classroom parties

• PTA meetings in library

All classrooms at Hawthorne have trash and recycling bins.

Juice pouches:

juice pouches.jpg

If you serve juice pouches at an event, please put the empty pouches in the special bin. They will be sent to TerraCycle for reuse. TerraCycle allows straws to be left in the pouch. These containers are stored in the old gym/lunchroom.

Eco Craft Ideas

How To Make Eggshell Planters

Adapted from:   http://www.modernmom.com/3494f7cc-3b48-11e3-94be-bc764e04a41e.html
Images and text by Valerie Rice 



  • (12) Eggshells
  • Egg carton
  • Dampened potting soil
  • Seeds (choose ones that sprout quickly like thyme, chervil and chamomile)
  • Scissors
  • Spoon

Wash outside of eggs. Smash pointy side down on counter (carefully). Tilt egg and crack smashed point on counter to loosen top of shell.

Peel top off the smashed and now cracked shells (reserve eggs for another use). Ideally, remove only the top 1/3 of the shell to create the opening.

Extract as much egg as you can out of the shell and then wash the inside out. Carefully use scissors (or garden shears) to cut a wider and even opening.

Using a teaspoon, fill each shell with dampened soil, leaving about 1” at the top. Scatter seeds on top of soil. Place one additional small spoonful of soil on top and gently pat down.

Place back in the egg carton and cut the center off the carton lid. Affix aviary or pliable chicken wire or string over the top and contain it around the carton with a large rubber band.  Now, your eggshells are safe from the birds.

Make sure you place the carton in a place that the eggs will get at least 6 hours of sunlight. And water carefully with a spray daily, misting only 2 days after the day you seed.

Waste Free Lunch


What is a Waste-Free Lunch?

A waste-free lunch is simply a lunch with nothing that needs to be put in the trash or recycling bin at the end.  Packing a completely waste-free lunch may seem daunting at first, but every little bit we do to be waste-free helps!

Why is a Waste-Free Lunch Important?

Much of the trash we generate comes from food packaging, and lunch foods are no exception. Hawthorne students can generate up to 100 pounds of lunch waste each day – or more than 17,000 pounds per school year! All this waste uses valuable natural resources and ends up in a landfill after being used for only a few hours. Food itself is also a big contributor to waste in the lunchroom. We have found that up to 75% of waste by weight in the Hawthorne lunchroom is from leftover food and drinks each day!

How to Pack a Waste-Free Lunch – Each One Makes a Difference!

Here’s what a WASTE-FREE Lunch includes:

  • Just the right amount of food (Encourage kids to bring leftovers home so you can see how much they eat every day. Adjust portion sizes accordingly.)
  • Sandwiches and other main dishes, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and treats packed in reusable containers (buying in bulk and re-packing saves resources and money)
  • Reusable drink containers
  • Cloth napkins
  • Stainless-steel forks and spoons
  • Reusable lunchboxes

A WASTE-FULL Lunch contains one or more of the following:

  • Too much food
  • Food packed in plastic baggies (baggies are not recyclable)
  • Individually packaged yogurts, fruit cups, chips, cookies, granola bars, cheeses, etc.
  • Single-use juice boxes, juice pouches, soda cans, water bottles, and milk cartons
  • Plastic forks, spoons, straws (these are not recyclable)
  • Paper napkins (these are not recyclable if soiled)
  • Disposable paper or plastic lunch bags

A note about hot lunches:

If your child will be buying a hot lunch, you can help make it more waste-free by checking the lunch menu and purchasing lunch on days when your child likes what is being served. Another way to make the hot lunches more waste-free is to pack a small zipper case with a reusable napkin and utensil that your child can bring to the lunchroom to use instead of the disposables that come with the hot lunches.