Forty 2nd graders tour The RE Store, make upcycled art

"Seeing the pride these students take in their creations, hearing them talk energetically about reuse — this is what keeps me coming back to work each day." | February 11, 2020

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Two second grade classes from Harmony Elementary in the Mt. Baker School District decided to take a tour of The RE Store. They sought to learn how reusing materials can as fun as it is important for preventing waste, led by Sustainable Schools and RE Store staff. Throughout the tour, the students had an opportunity to think creatively about how they could use old doors, pipes, wood, and other building materials that can be found at The RE Store. One Store employee showed the students the Revision Division, where she talked with them about how unusual materials like brake pads and old oxygen tanks could be combined to create a one-of-a-kind bell. 

After their tour, the students got the chance to create an upcycled project with wire pieces stripped from old cable as their action project that is part of the process towards receiving a Green Classroom Certification.


With a little help, the 2nd graders twisted and shaped the wires into a flower, and then attached it to a stand made from scrap paper.

“Can I take this home??” some students asked me excitedly. I told them of course, and they could even re-shape the wire to make something new if they wanted!

Seeing the pride these students take in their creations, hearing them talk energetically about little things like a decorative spider made of would-be waste plastic and fabric in the RE Store outbuilding — this is what keeps me coming back to work each day.

The students walked away with a unique project, and an even greater expanse of knowledge on what kinds of items can be diverted from the landfill just by reusing them in fun and creative ways. 

By Chelsea Hilmoe, Green Classrooms Coordinator (AmeriCorps)

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