SOPE: Bag It, Bike, & May 19 HP shoreline cleanup

Approximately 700 Harrington Park public school students attend our local K-8 school. Most continue on to attend our regional high school- Northern Valley High School at Old Tappan. This high school has ~ 1,400 students from the towns of Norwood, Northvale, Old Tappan, and Harrington Park.

SOPE (Save Our Planet Earth) is a very active environmental club at NVOT. The requirements for club credit include weekly meetings, active participation in school recycling, and local watershed cleanups. Approximately 1/10th of the student population (140 students)  have been members of SOPE annually since the 2008-9 school year. The club adviser is Brian Hanson-Harding, English Department.

From the NVOT website: The purpose of this club is to raise environmental awareness within the school and community, and to actively make improvements in the environmental issues we all face. This active and large organization gets involved in environmental issues, outside trips, and community activities.

Mr. Hanson-Harding submitted the information below, a brief overview of what SOPE has been doing in 2012. (A more detailed report  of SOPE activities in 2009-10 and 2010-11 is posted on the HP Sustainable Jersey application).

•For Earth Day, we showed the movie Bag It in three separate assemblies. (From this link: Bag It has been garnering awards at film festivals across the nation. What started as a documentary about plastic bags evolved into a wholesale investigation into plastics and their effect on our waterways, oceans, and even our bodies. Join the Bag It movement and decide for yourself how plastic your life will be).

•Seventeen students participated in the Waste Stream Superhero competition, in which they carried with them any trash they couldn’t compost or recycle.

•We held Reduce Week, in which we taught students about how to reduce waste.

•We made and sold new stainless steel NVOT bottles (available for $7 each).

•We held a Bike-to-School week.

•On May 19, we held our second cleanup of the school year and cleaned up the reservoir shoreline behind the United Water headquarters on Old Hook Road in Harrington Park.

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