Archive for the ‘Food – Wastes’ category

Earth Dinner 2012

April 20, 2012

Our Earth Dinner was a delicious and heart-warming night including chocolate prizes, delicious kale soup, quinoa salad, and much more.  Thanks to the generous donations of community members, we had a lovely meal, full of conversation.  Mr. Semlear brightened up the event with a collection of gorgeous marigolds potted in little recycled jars. Thanks to all for joining us, and for making it so much fun.

Food Is Our Common Ground

March 26, 2011

Grace Church School is hosting a panel discussion about Food, Kids, and Sustainability on April 25th at 6pm (86 Fourth Avenue, 10003).  We are invite you to be a part of the discussion!

Our panelists include;

  • Jerusha Klemperer, Associate Director for National Programs at Slow Food, USA
  • Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern
  • Dan Tainow, Lower East Side Ecology Center
  • Ben Flanner, Brooklyn Grange, Long Island City
  • Lydia Walshin, Editor and Writer for The Perfect Pantry, SoupChick, and Drop In and Decorate
  • Jude Sheehan, Chef at Grace Church School

We plan to focus the discussion on the guiding idea that “Food Is Our Common Ground,” emphasizing the power of children’s eating habits to transform our homes, our schools, and our city into a sustainable place.  Please RSVP if you’d like to attend but are not a GCS community member.  We welcome all interested guests!


Jerusha Klemperer is the associate director of national programs at Slow Food USA, a grassroots network of volunteer chapters that are working towards a more just and sustainable food system. She is also a writer of all kinds of things including book reviews, blog posts, and tweets, and is a contributor to the Huffington Post,,, and her personal blog Eat Here 2 ( She is an alum of Grace Church School, with fond memories of cooking and learning with Mrs. Hayes back in kindergarten. In her free time she sometimes cooks up food and fun with Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant (

Mike Anthony began cooking professionally in Tokyo, Japan where he quickly grew to love the Japanese connection to the changing seasons.  Following his time in Japan, Mike moved to France to hone his culinary skills at a number of renowned restaurants.  He joined Gramercy Tavern as the Executive Chef in 2006 and under his leadership the restaurant has earned a number of accolades including a three star New York Times review in 2007 and the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Restaurant” in 2008.  In both 2008, 2009 and 2010, Mike has been nominated for the James Beard Award for “Best Chef in New York City.”

Daniel Tainow learned the importance of protecting our environment early in life while exploring the disappearing forests of New Jersey and fishing with his family aboard his uncle’s NY/NJ Baykeeper boat in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary.  Daniel earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Engineering from James Madison University in Virginia, and then went on to earn a Master of Arts in Environment and Community from Humboldt State University in California.  He has taught and organized environmental education programs as an AmeriCorps Member and a Naturalist in Cape Cod National Seashore, Point Reyes National Seashore, Watchung Reservation in New Jersey, and most recently as the Manager of the NYC Compost Project at the Queens Botanical Garden.  Daniel has been a resident of the Lower East Side for five years.  He is a member of Transportation Alternatives East Side Committee, serves on the board of the Western Queens Compost Initiative and hopes to volunteer at a local community garden now that he no longer has an hour and a half commute.

Chef Jude Sheehan has been re-imagining Grace Church School’s lunch program for years, bringing new, innovative recipes, green ideas, and energy saving practices to our kitchen. He is a well loved member of our community. Just ask any student at GCS!





From Lydia Walshin’s Website: “I live in Rhode Island most of the time, in a small log house with a great kitchen where I teach cooking classes and love to gather groups of friends to cook together. (Sometimes I live in Boston, too.) For the past 18 years I’ve been a food writer, but I’ve been a writer, mostly for nonprofit organizations, for my entire career. And I’ve been writing The Perfect Pantry since June 2006. (You can go back to the beginning and read every post, starting here.) I’m the founder and director of a nonprofit organization called Drop In & Decorate. I hope you’ll go to the site and read more about how we decorate and donate cookies for donation to food pantries, family shelters, and other local agencies serving neighbors in need. It’s a wonderful program, and you can be part of it.”

Head Farmer Ben Flanner is a trained engineer with a background in finance. In 2009 Ben founded Eagle Street Rooftop Farms, the first rooftop soil farm in New York. Ben’s tedious record keeping, attention to detail, and relationships in the community are a crucial asset to the farm.

Green Cup Challenge Video: Snack Attack!

February 8, 2011

You can VOTE FOR GCS, and see the video submissions of other schools at the Green Cup Challenge website.

Here’s a quick, fun, update!  Another unrelated video contest is being held for high schools called Green For All.  Here is a great submission from the Climate Crew!  Enjoy!

Snack Attack – Green Cup Challenge

January 30, 2011

Teachers  and students all over GCS are turning out the lights during the Green Cup Challenge.  GCS already makes use of wind power options from ConEd and participates in Energy Curtailment Service’s Power Down events.

“First, there is the power of the Wind, constantly exerted over the globe…. Here is an almost incalculable power at our disposal, yet how trifling the use we make of it! It only serves to turn a few mills, blow a few vessels across the ocean, and a few trivial ends besides. What a poor compliment do we pay to our indefatigable and energetic servant!” –  Henry David Thoreau

You can see how our progress compares to other schools here: ( this month.  We are focusing on the ways we can save energy while we eat. Hosted by the Green Schools Alliance, we are encouraging all classrooms to consider saving energy in the following ways;

  • Turn out the lights during snack and story time
  • Don’t leave chargers plugged in when they are not in use
  • Turn off printers, monitors, and SmartBoards when not in use
  • Turn off unneeded hallway lights
  • Turn of the main bank of lights at lunch on a sunny day.
  • Walk instead of taking the elevator
  • Enjoy one of Chef Sheehan’s Green Lunches!

You can look at our Top Ten Green Tips (in the sidebar on the right) if you would like to find out even more ways to keep energy savings up and reduce our Carbon Footprint!

Time for Tea!

December 2, 2010

Our worms have amazingly tackled our bananas from 2nd grade snack.  There are still some peels remaining, but they won’t last long.  The organic compost pile is really flourishing!  Students collected tea bags this month.  Here are our Green Team members adding their tea bags to the pile!

“Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.” – Mark Twain

November 30, 2010

From one Mark to another!  Our history teacher, Mr. Weinsier, has a green habit that many teachers share – using a re-usable mug for hot drinks.  This holiday season, carry your cocoa in a re-usable mug.  “A report conducted jointly by the Alliance for Environmental Innovation and Starbucks found that 1.9 billion cups were used by Starbucks in 2000.[5]  In 2006, Starbucks reported that this figure had grown to 2.3 billion cups for use at their stores.” Typically, the paper used for coffee cups is made of new trees, not recycled paper.  Manufacturing these cups takes a lot of water, and energy.  Crazy, considering that they are usually used once. (source 1 & source 2 with more facts about coffee cup use)

Mark shares his mug story;  “I use my favorite reusable mug — a gift from friends at our partner school in New Delhi, India — whenever I go to the faculty room for my favorite Earl Grey tea.  Two years ago, I used to take a new cup every time I drank tea — and that wasted a lot of cups.  One day I decided I was going to bring in a mug from home, so I brought in the one from Vasant Valley.  (Sometimes I even add a little of a spice called cardamom to remind me of India!)  Now I try to challenge myself to never have tea here at school unless my mug is with me!”

Second Grade Goes Bananas!

November 22, 2010

Our classroom compost has been coming along very nicely.  Below, you can see a photo of the compost thus far – already looking earthy and smelling like fresh dirt in less than a month!  The second graders collected their banana peels from this week’s snack.  With about 1.8 kg of peels, we will be testing the limits of our little worms over the holiday break.  While just a small amount of food waste, it will never the less avoid the landfill, and lead to a great salad in the spring.

So far, our worms have not been able to make a dent in the “compostable” dinner fork we used at our Earth Dinner on November 4th.  We hope to see it begin to decompose this year.

Second graders have been learning about how much food Americans typically waste and throw into landfill.  A very informative article about the topic was shared during our Green Team meeting with upper school students this week. To find out more, see the NYTimes link here.

International Family Night – Eco Heroes of India

November 15, 2010

Enjoy International Family Night at GCS tonight!  The families putting the event together have an incredible list of foods, crafts, and activities to share with everyone.  Events begin at 6pm.  Performances are in Tuttle Hall.  Namaste!

“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Mohandas Gandhi

The Green Team created a flag of India out of recycled materials from all over the school, including many food containers and bottle caps.  Featured on the flag are some Eco-Heroes from India; Gandhi, Vandana Shiva, Divya Raghunandan from Greenpeace India, Nitin Desai from the Council on Climate Change, and Jairam Ramesh, Minister of the Environment of India.  Photos of everyday recycling in villages and cities were included.

Earth Dinner 2010

October 31, 2010

You are cordially invited to our first GCS Earth Dinner!  A pot-luck affair, this event will be sure to get you talking – about food, sustainability and the way we live Green in NYC.  Teachers, parents, administrators and staff are all welcome to join us for a night of organic, local, and sustainable dining.  We will be having fun and launching a conversation about how to weave our ideals into our meals.  If you would like to join in, just RSVP on the GCS website.

Compost Guests Arrive!

October 31, 2010

Our worms arrived for our first compost bin this Wednesday.  The Green Gremlins got to prepare their bedding, give them their first meal, and feel them squirm!  Click here for a video of the worms before they were set in the bin.  Chef Sheehan provided some of the kitchen scraps collected during Wednesday’s lunch.  The kids plan to collect scraps from lunch tables during the fall.    Is your classroom interested in having a compost bin? They are easy to maintain and a great educational resource.  Check out the upcoming Wormshop from the Lower East Side Ecology Center this month at Friends.  Composting from home?  You can set up your own bin easily, but if this is not an option, consider bringing your vegetable scraps to a local compost outpost.  Also, the map of compost station in NYC can be found here.