Wrapping Up Global Forum

This week, I have been able to document girls all over the school and I have been able to learn so many new things. I decided that in honor of Global Forum 2017, I would make a longer post summarizing all that we have accomplished this week.

Monday

This week started with a presentation from a guest speaker from National Geographic. His name is Mike Hetwer and he told us about how our trash is affecting the rest of the world.

After the presentation, we got to work! I started out by planning some interviews. My first interview was with a girl named Melissa. She is in Class III and is in the group “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch: (III & UP)The Real Reason Dory Can’t Find Her Way Home.”

Tuesday

On Tuesday, lots of groups went on field trips, one documentation member coming along. The group I was chosen to go with was “D + E²: Design & Eco-friendly Entrepreneurship in Boston,” and we went to The Clover Food Lab. We learned about how Clover composts almost all of their waste and about how they are able to manage the company.

Wednesday

On Wednesday, I got to interview both Veronica and Ava, which was super fun.

Thursday

On Thursday, I got to document a guest speaker come in and teach some of the girls how to crochet plastic bags. They started by tying the bags together and then making into a yarn-like material. They then spun the plastic to make the strand tighter. After that, they were ready to crochet.

 

And that was my week! I have learned so much about trash and how we can try to fix the problem that it is creating. I think that this week had inspired me and many other girls to be more conscious of what we are throwing away on a daily basis. I don’t think that I will ever be able to completely stop throwing some things away, but I think that Winsor Trash Week had really helped me realize that I can change the world.

“Don’t Box Me In!” Group

Today I stopped by the “Don’t Box Me In!: Re-packaging the Packaging” to see what progress Ava (the girl that I previously interviewed) had made. I asked her to tell us about her group and what they were working on. I attached a video of what she told me about! (Also, sorry for the bad audio-everyone was working so the room was loud.)

Recycled Creativity

Today a guest speaker came in and taught the girls how to crochet with plastic bags!

The speaker that came is from a company named “Net Works.” They take plastic bags and turn them into basketball nets by making the bags into a yarn-like material, and then crocheting them into the nets. The speaker handed out the book that her company published and then gave the girls a few minutes to look through the books

The girls then got about 15 bags each to make into their yarn. They started by cutting each bag into strips and unfolding the strips to make a loop. They then started to tie the strips together.

After they had a super long piece of the tied bags, they started to roll all of it up into a ball so that they could move to the next step.

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After they had a ball of the material, they moved on to the next step, which was to spin the yarn to make it look more professional and more tightly wound.

After they had spun their yarn, they were finally able to crochet their yarn. They first picked out a hook that worked for them and their type of plastic, and then they got to work, crocheting whatever they wanted to.

They finally finished! The final products were gorgeous!

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The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Today I got to spend some time with the girls of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch: Can We Create Something to Help Dory Find Her Way Home. Their job is to not only think about the issue of the Garbage Patch, but to design and prototype a machine that could potentially clean it up. I got to speak with girls of all ages who are taking this challenge head on. With access to any material they could imagine, and any power tool they want, their creativity was clearly running wild. I was impressed with the level of though that went into each and every piece of their machines. img_0213

This is Sam, Class IV, and she created a model of a machine that would use currents to force trash into a certain area. She designed a tube to suck up the trash, bring it to an airplane, and melt the plastic to use as fuel for the airplane.

Each piece is thought out and serves a very specific purpose. I am excited to see what else she creates this week!

Marley and Maddy, Class III, and Ava and Meredith, Class III and II, show off their designs .

Waste at MIT

Today I tagged along with Investigating Winsor’s Waste to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. We primarily learned about waste audits, though we also were informed about student environmental clubs on campus.

There are several undergraduate and graduate organizations at MIT that support the reduction of waste. They are run by very dedicated people, who told us all about their efforts to make MIT greener. For example, they hold what they call a Choose to Reuse drive every month. A Choose to Reuse drive is where you can donate lightly used clothes to the school, or come and take clothes that others have donated. It has turned out to be a huge success. The students have also run other events, such as a Trashion show, where people design and create clothes out of recyclables, trash, or compostable items. Trashion shows at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology occur every December.

We were also taught about waste audits. Waste audits are a very effective way of measuring how many items that could be recycled or composted end up in the trash in a specific place. Students at MIT have performed two audits in recent years, and have found them to be very helpful. It has helped them to figure out who they needed to talk to about ways to fix their trash issues, and what to focus on specifically.

The ideas that the students at MIT have come up with are novel, and the people involved in Investigating Winsor’s Trash are hoping to be inspired by their ideas and do things similar to what they are doing.

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Covanta Energy Plant

This morning I attended a field trip with studios Fill’er Up! and Waste in Nature to Covanta energy plant in Haverhill, M.A. Covanta is an EfW plant, or Energy from Waste. Their mission is to convert household waste into electricity.

There are two common ways that waste is disposed of; by landfill, or by EfW. In a landfill trash is collected and stacked into large piles. It is then covered over by soil, to be buried in the earth for years to come. In EfWs, however, the waste is stored and processed until it eventually turns into electricity.

Landfills are the largest producer of man-made methane, which is a greenhouse gas 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Methane greatly impacts our environment and also largely contributes to global warming. At Covanta, they annually reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses in our world by 20 million tons. That helps in undoing the damage that landfills do to our world constantly.

Covanta has also taken extra steps to be as green as possible. Just a few years ago they switched all of the lights in their Haverhill facility to LED lights, an operation that cost them around 700,000 dollars.

At Covanta, they are dedicated to their cause of powering the world with renewable energy. Because of their work, the amount of greenhouse gasses being produced have been reduced greatly, and our world is a better place.

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