Eco-Cycle Schools Waste Reduction Programs


2020 Advancing Environmental Literacy Award Recipient

Eco-Cycle-Advancing Environmental Literacy Award

Eco-Cycle is a social enterprise that provides educational programs to over 50,000 kindergarten through 12th grade students and staff in approximately 2,000 Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley classrooms annually. Through three programs focused on making a tangible impact in public schools, the Waste Free Lunch Contest, Locker Leftovers, and the Children’s Book Project, Eco-Cycle is changing environmentally harmful behavior in schools, while educating students about why that change is so important.

Schools participating in the Waste Free Lunch Contest compete to see who can slim down their lunch trash the most (through reducing, recycling, and composting) over a one week period. Locker Leftovers is an annual program to find new homes for unwanted school supplies left in students’ lockers at the end of the year. The Children’s Used Book Project sorts and distributes used books to at-risk, low-income and underserved individuals and families through schools, childcare centers and nonprofit organizations in Boulder County and neighboring communities. These projects exemplify a simple and innovative grassroots approach to reducing waste by sharing resources and taking personal actions every day.

Eco-Cycle has proven its leadership in advancing the field of Environmental Education for almost two decades by creating sustainable programs that have a direct impact on improving the environment by educating students about the role that waste plays in its destruction and how they can change it. Eco-Cycle shares this positive, solutions-driven approach with educational institutions and organizations throughout the state and across the country, including Louisiana, Massachusetts, California and Washington.