Mindy Quirk and I were honored to present this month’s Community Coffee on “Sustainable Eating.” The American Public Health Association (APHA) defines “sustainable food” as healthy food [that] meets current food needs while maintaining healthy ecosystems that can also provide food for generations to come with minimal negative impact to the environment. Of course, that’s just fancy talk for a food system that provides healthy food to people today and for generations to come while protecting our planet and the people who live on it.
– by Alethia Carter Stone As I was leaving Unity Charter School after General Assembly, something caught my eye that made me stop short. There, lying unassuming on the table just inside the front door, were UNICEF boxes. When I was growing up in the 70s and 80s, Halloween was synonymous with UNICEF. When did that change? A brief history from someone else who remembers is here. Not only has it not been obvious how to obtain UNICEF boxes in recent years, but the three times I’ve found them since having children have met with mixed results. People often look at the boxes as if to wondering how they’re going to fit a piece of candy in there.
Green stripes, green solids, green hats, hoods and scarves, and also, a green flag! Wednesday was a very special day at Unity Charter School when it was became the first school in all of New Jersey to be presented the Green Flag Award by the National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA, an internationally acclaimed program that provides a framework to help educators integrate sustainable principles throughout their schools and curriculum.
On Wednesday, an outdoor Fall Picnic Lunch was planned for students at Unity Charter School. This was a follow up to the outdoor Picnic Lunch held in the spring in conjunction with the Healthy Kids Eco-school pathway. The Picnic Lunch was such a success with the students that we brought it back again for the fall. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate, forcing the students to remain inside because of the rain. However, spirits were not dampened for long, because another special treat had been planned for the children: Apples! While it might take more than “an apple a day to keep the doctor away,” fresh, local apples are certainly a step in the right direction. Besides tasting delicious, apples are easy to carry for snacking, low in calories, and high in both soluable and insoluable fiber.
We had such a wonderful time welcoming Uganda and Japan into Unity today as part of the National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools Global Dimensions Pathway. All ages from kindergarten through grade eight started preparing a few weeks ahead with the help of their families and art teacher by creating their National Hand Print, featuring one country from their heritage. The wall of hands was displayed at the entrance of the World Culture Day Plaza and heralded the students in where they posed for their passport photo taken by our 8th grade photographer and then headed onto the customs bureau to receive their personalized passports and get stamped for Uganda and Japan.