Chamisa Elementary School Green Team Wins Award

Chamisa Elementary School’s Green Team gets recognized for its Zero Waste lunch program. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/
Chamisa Elementary School Teacher Megan Lee speaks Friday during the assembly. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/
Los Alamos Daily Post

Chamisa Elementary School Green Team’s Zero Waste lunch program has received state-wide attention. The program earned an award for Innovative Project of the Year from the regional chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America. Friday, the school gathered to celebrate the achievement.

A $200 check also was given to the school for its sustainability efforts.

Third grade Teacher Megan Lee explained the program began four years ago when she and other staff were discussing how much waste was being generated as well as the need to recycle and compost.

She said they realized zero waste was best. As a result, the Zero Waste lunch challenge was established, and a video was filmed to promote and educate about environmentally sustainable lunches. Practices such as using reusable water bottles, non-disposable lunch bags and metal utensils were highlighted.

However, Lee said the original video seemed a little “amateurish.” Los Alamos County Environmental Services Division Manager Angelica Gurule stepped in and applied for a grant from the New Mexico Solid Waste Recycling and Illegal Dumping fund, which granted the Green Team funds to develop a professional video.

The new video, which as filmed by PAC8, can be viewed on YouTube as well as at the Reel Deal Theatre before movies.

Best of the all, Lee said the school has “definitely cut down on our waste. “

As a result of the Green Team’s efforts, Gurule nominated them for the Solid Waste Association award.

“Students and teachers are making a difference,” she said.

This is the not the first award the school’s Green Team has achieved. For three consecutive years the school has won Educational Institute Recycler of the Year from Los Alamos County Environmental Services.

Lee commended teachers’ and students’ efforts.

“That’s our Chamisa family pulling together,” she said.

But the works doesn’t stop here.

“Let’s get greener,” Lee told the crowd.

If other Los Alamos Public Schools are interested in Zero Waste, please contact for assistance, Gurule said.

To view the video, click

Chamisa Elementary School’s Green Team and Los Alamos County Environmental Services Divison Manager Angelica Gurule, far right, discuss the Zero Waste lunch program. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/

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