Gems American Academy update

In this school year, we spent a few weeks reusing commonly thrown away goods. For example, we used cardboard tubes to make crafts, a homemade iPhone speaker and decorations. We used old egg cartons as seed starters to bring some greenery into our classrooms and homes.

Then, we had the opportunity to meet with Charlene Nawar, head of Unwrapped UAE, to hear about the problems of single- use plastics and how Gems American Academy can make progress towards eliminating them from our school. One afternoon, we did a school pick-up and noticed that many people in our community were throwing trash items into the recycling bins, and throwing plastic water bottles in the trash cans instead of properly sorting the waste. Since then, we have spoken to our principal, head of facilities team, and our Wild Action Team to start to solve this problem. We put together a Google Slides presentation to inform people of the importance of recycling and how to do so correctly. Then, we have been speaking to our facilities team to keep garbage bins out in the hallway, so students, teachers, and parents will sort their waste correctly.

Lastly, we have recently begun working with Simply Bottles, an initiative from a Dubai- based group called DGRADE. We will be able to donate our used plastic water bottles to their company in order to be turned into fabric for clothing and other accessories. While we do encourage reusable water bottles and are striving to make less plastic waste; we realize that members of our community still use plastic bottles so we would like to encourage reusing of these bottles, instead of sending them to landfill or attempting to get them recycled.

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