The memo has been leaked - our planet is dying! We are all very aware of how environmentally conscious we need to be. Everyone needs to play a part to ensure a sustainable future for our planet.
What can we do as a PTA? What can we do to promote sustainable change within our school communities? The answer is, anything and everything. Start with what you can and I promise your initiatives and environmental successes will soon grow.
Some quick win zero waste ideas for your PTA.
♻️ Ditch single use plastic.
When putting on events, invest in reusable plastic tumblers which can be used time and time again. To avoid messy puddles at the event, have a ‘Rehydration Station’. This is a place where the kids can chose a cup of squash or water and drink in situ. They normally chug it anyway so once they have finished, a quick douse in a wash bucket should suffice to have it ready to be used again.
Rather than buying plastic ‘tat’ for prizes, put an amnesty call out to the school community for good quality toys, games, hair adornments, Lego figures etc. Even if you do get some plastic bits and pieces donated, it’s better that it’s being ‘recycled’ rather than simply thrown away.
For parent events, you could consider a cup deposit scheme. Invest in, or rent an array of quality drinks tumblers which parents pay a £1 deposit for at the start of the event. They use their tumbler for the duration of the event returning it at the end to claim their deposit back. You will always make a few pounds on this deposit initiative as some people forget to return their cup even when reminded and there are also people who are happy to donate their deposit. There can be several versions of this cup deposit scheme, find one that works for your PTA. It can also be applied to kids events and is particularly good at fairs where there is less clearing up to do as cups are brought back by their users!
♻️ Sustainable gift wrapping alternatives
There are many PTA fundraising events that require the use of wrapping gifts. Did you know that most wrapping paper is recycling contamination! If wrapping paper is metallic, has glitter on it, or has a texture to it, it is not recyclable. Some wrapping paper is so thin it has no recyclable use whatsoever. However, there are some clever alternatives for your PTA to use.
Brown paper: Still paper but easy to recycle after use. Brown paper can look stylish when tied with rafia or get the kids to put handprints/thumbprints all over them for something a bit more personalised.
Newspaper or magazines: Honestly, how nice can presents look wrapped in newspaper? We’ve done this at home for the last few years and let’s be honest, we’re interested in what’s inside, right?
Furoshiki: This is the Japanese art of wrapping gifts in fabric. There are lots of tutorials online that will show you how to tie fabric to look like animals, crackers, gift bags – you will definitely find something that suits your PTA. The fabric can, of course, be reused time and time again.
It’s great that your PTA are looking to become zero waste superheroes. I hope this article has given you some food for thought. If you are looking for a FREE video to share with your school community to kick-start your Zero Waste initiative, then visit this PTA Hub blog article.
Oh and don’t forget to sign up to helpful newsletter below to get timely fundraising tips throughout the school year. Remember, as part of our newsletter community, you are automatically entered into our monthly draw to win a Go Green and Fundraise PTA event pack . Use it to kick start your Zero Waste PTA ambitions!