Seth Boyden Composting Going School Wide!

(and we're in the news!)



Seth Boyden Elementary School students are turning themselves into composting kings and queens. With sustainability in mind, last Spring, the school embarked on a pilot program to gauge the feasibility of lunch time composting. First and second graders enthusiastically separated their lunch waste and placed their compostable materials – leftover fruit, vegetables, pizza crusts, sandwiches – into designated bins. Their goal? As two students, Uma and Summer, explain, it was “to make new soil and help the Earth live”. Following on the program’s success, the school is ready to take the program to every grade in a first-in-the district effort to change habits and minds.


Seth Boyden students are on a mission. A mission to protect their future. But it will take a Maplewood village. Right now, that village includes lunch aids, parent volunteers, and the support of teachers and administrators. In December, local business owner, Java, of Java Composting, taught the students about how and why to compost. The Achieve Foundation funded the Joro Composters and the Seth Boyden PTA’s Green Team, led by Saul Petersen, has provided the lunchroom bins and logistical support.


Last year, Seth Boyden students were able to divert about 30 pounds of food per week from landfills. This year, students are poised to at least triple that amount, and will see the benefits firsthand of converting waste into soil as they use their compost in the school garden this Spring. As Saul Petersen, the PTA’s Green Team Committee Chair puts it, “these future scientists, lawyers, legislators, social media influencers, and corporate tycoons, are amassing experiences that translate learning into action, and from action to power.” The power, that is, “to tell others, to help others understand,” as third grader Abem offered.


So, watch out SOMA! Seth Boyden student energy and activism are coming your way. Composting at Seth Boyden is just the beginning. Students are on a mission to have EVERY breakfast and lunch in the district composted and turned to soil. As second grader Theodor put it, students want to “spread the word”. After all, “compost is the medicine of the Earth” explains third grader, Ati. Third grader Treyvon wrapped it up nicely, “we need your help to share this Earth.”

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