Success story: Nautilus K-8 School
School District: Federal Way
School Location: Federal Way
Began participating in the Green Schools Program: September 2009
Level One of the Green Schools Program: Achieved in June 2010
Level Two of the Green Schools Program: Achieved in May 2011
Level Three of the Green Schools Program: Achieved in May 2012
Waste reduction and recycling (level one)
- In 2009-10, Nautilus increased its recycling rate from 25 percent to 33 percent, saving $217 per month in garbage collection costs by reducing the outdoor garbage dumpster size.
- The school improved classroom recycling and initiated lunchroom recycling of plastic bottles, aluminum cans and milk cartons.
- In 2010-11, Nautilus began to collect food scraps and other compostable materials and increased its recycling rate from 33 percent to 41 percent. Nautilus continued to maintain a 41 percent recycling rate in 2011-12.
- School staff placed recycling stickers that list what can and can’t be recycled on classroom and lunchroom recycling containers.
- The student green team generated a list of projects and completed the following:
- Created and presented PowerPoint presentations and skits in the lunchroom during Earth Week.
- Made daily announcements about recycling.
- Taught lower grade level students how to monitor the lunchroom recycling containers.
- Held a “no contamination” contest for classrooms. The Associated Student Body presented trophies they made out of recycled materials to the classes that had no contaminants in their recycling bins.
- Nautilus students and staff completed a school-wide clean up on Earth Day.
- Sixth and seventh grade students participate in an annual neighborhood ravine clean-up project, coordinating with the cities of Federal Way and Des Moines for garbage pickup.
- Students wrote letters to government officials about reducing carbon dioxide emissions that cause ocean acidification.
Energy conservation (level two)
- Maintenance staff replaced all school bulbs with more energy-efficient lights.
- Middle school students made posters and put them up around the building reminding students to conserve energy and help save our planet.
- The PTA newsletter includes a conservation tip in its monthly publication. All tips are written by a middle school student.
- The leadership students placed “Turn off the Lights” stickers by all light switches.
- Middle school students shared conservation tips over the intercom during the morning announcements.
- Staff received reminders to turn off lights, shut down computers, and close blinds at the end of every day.
- Signs were posted in computer labs to turn off monitors when transitioning from one class to another.
Water conservation and pollution prevention (level three)
- Students created and posted water conservation signs next to every sink in the building that say, "Turn off water when not in use," and include a picture of a dripping faucet.
- Students participate in the annual Lakehaven Utility Water Conservation Poster Contest.
- In 2011-12, students measured water flow from faucets around the school, compiled the data into tables and graphed the results.
- Students made regular morning announcements to share interesting water facts and information on how to conserve water.
- Nautilus teacher, Lisa Torres, received a King County Earth Hero at School award in April 2012.
For more information about this school’s conservation achievements and participation in the Green Schools Program, contact:
Stacy Lucas, principal