The Irvington Green Team works with parents and students to raise environmental awareness and implement sustainability projects at Irvington School. 

Art Teacher, Nicole Reed, helped students make three colorful bottle cap murals for Earth Week, permanent reminders of their pledges.

The Irvington Green Team has been one of the most successful green teams in the district, meeting and working on projects since 2013.  

Get Involved

Join in the fun!  We need new members to keep all our exciting projects going and the creative juices flowing.  

Getting started...

Our parent meetings are casual get-togethers, usually outdoors at the Pocket Pub (2719 NE 7th  Ave.).  Join us to discuss exciting project ideas – and add your own!

 See the Irvington PTA Calendar for our next parent meeting.

Some years there has also been a Student Green Team that meets separately, but currently a parent
volunteer and/or teacher is needed to organize this important piece, to keep students involved and leading the effort.

The Eco-School Network is a local network of parents and school staff shaping greener, healthier schools by leading projects for students. After the training, you can join our network of changemakers from other schools to see what’s possible. Training and ongoing support are free for parents and schools. Here’s a short video about our work.

The Eco-School Network’s free four-session on-line training prepares you to carry out a passion project that meets a critical need at your school while helping kids practice sustainability.  Projects include school gardens, outdoor classroom kits, waste reduction, walk and bike programs, student green teams, and other initiatives that can be led from home.

Want to learn more?  Contact Jeanne Roy at jeanne@ecoschool.org or 503-244-0026.

Make a Difference

Shrink your eco-footprint by reducing the amount of brand new stuff you buy, since making that stuff uses a lot of earth’s resources.  And, when you’re done using your stuff, give it to someone else to use.

A few ways to reuse:

  • Participate in Irvington Swaps
  • Exchange clothes or toys with a friend
  • Start a free toy or book library
  • Hand down your coats or gear to someone younger than you in your neighborhood or on your team
  • Donate stuff you aren’t using to your neighborhood Buy Nothing group

“If you reduce, reuse and recycle, you will be happy for the rest of the year!”  ~Grace, age 8

“If you reduce what you buy, there is less STUFF in your house!” ~Grace’s mom

Grab a Blue Bag!

Your cans and bottles eligible with refund value in Oregon can support our students!  Pick up a Blue Bag (2nd & 4th Fridays at morning drop-off on blacktop near the school building), fill it up and drop it off at a participating BottleDrop location (bottledropcenters.com/locations).  You can also donate money in your BottleDrop account–search “Irvington School PTA” at bottledropcenters.com/donate-nonprofits.  For questions, or to make Blue Bag arrangements, email greenteam@irvingtonschool.com.

Marker Recycling

Recycling dried up markers of all kinds (anything that does not have metal, such as Crayola, Sharpies, Bics, etc.) We will be sending these markers back to Crayola, where they have a program to recycle and repurpose them. There is a collection box outside of the school library, and there will soon be canisters to collect used markers in each school classroom.

Scrap is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire creative reuse and environmentally sustainable behavior by providing educational programs and affordable materials to the community.

See the wide-ranging list of items that can be donated.

Did you know there’s a local library for tools?  The NE Portland Tool Library lends out home repair and gardening tools free to NE Portland residents.  Check it out!

Clamshell Recycling

Clean, clear #1 clamshell containers can now be recycled at New Seasons Market. Hooray!

Make the most of your blue bin

Ensure that you’re making the most of Portland’s curbside service by recycling everything you can, while keeping out the items that impede the system.  Stay up to date with the current list 

Styrofoam and #6 plastics can be dropped off at Agilyx in Tigard.  If that’s not on a regular route for you, stay tuned for Green Team collection events.

Find a James recycling event where you can drop off many items that cannot be recycled curbside.

Trex Challenge (Plastic Film)

The Irvington Green Team participates in a national competition to divert the most film plastic from the waste stream and send it to be made into building materials (plastic lumber, for benches, planters and more!) by the Trex company. Each school will receive a small prize for participation and the winning schools get a Trex park bench installed on campus.

The Trex Challenge runs from November 15- April 15, families can drop off clean plastic bags and plastic film for recycling at a participating store location and report weight to the Green Team; or look for collection stations at our school! See the full list of of what plastics can be included here.

Be a Compost Connoisseur

Yay!  In Portland, all the stinky stuff goes out weekly in your green bin.  Ensure that you’re making the most of this curbside service by composting everything you possibly can.  See what can go in.

Free Geek safely & securely refurbishes locally donated technology and gives it back to our community at no or low cost to provide our community’s most vulnerable populations with the digital literacy skills they need to succeed and thrive. What cannot be refurbished is recycled in an environmentally responsible manner.   

Learn more about what can be reused and recycled through Free Geek here.

start some collections...

Start saving up these small items and stay tuned for collection events at Irvington School in the 2022-2023 school year.

Plastic bottle caps

Lightbulbs

Small unbroken household bulbs including LEDs, CFLs, halogen, incandescent and (small) fluorescent bulbs.

Bread tags

Batteries

Household batteries, including alkaline, hearing aid, rechargeable and small lithium ion batteries.

Prescription bottles

Clear plastic prescription bottles with labels removed

Metal bottle caps

Success Stories

In the news...

Eco-School Network tour showcases Irvington as a PPS model of sustainability.

Read the full article here.

Washables in the Cafeteria

With support from our custodian and kitchen staff, we were able to start using washable trays, silverware and cups and separating trash from organic food waste! Student volunteers (2 per period) are encouraged to grab a Green Team apron and help their friends sort their washables and trash in the sort line.

Waste Audit

We collected all of the milk cartons for a whole week to see just how much waste these are contributing, it was a lot! Milk cartons are not recyclable in our cafeteria due to the mold that builds up in them. There is currently a push to replace milk cartons with these Steel Cows and reusable cups!

Irvington Swaps

At the 2022 Spring Swap Irvington families donated over 300 used toys, books and sports gear.  From the donated items, students chose new-to-them items to take home, with the remainder donated to local reuse nonprofits.  It was a great opportunity for families and students to give our things a second life, practice reuse, and to bring our Irvington community together!

Covered bike shelters with solar powered lighting

The Green Team installed these bike shelters with the help of Anderson Construction for Earth Day 2017 just in time to kick off Walk and Bike month with a ribbon cutting celebration! The solar panels were added in a project led by our own James Epply and the 5th grade classes. They calculated exactly how much daylight and battery size was needed to power the safety lights and keep our bike shelter well-lit even on the shortest winter days.

Reusable Party Packs

Thanks to the Irvington PTA, the Green Team was able to purchase two “Party Packs” made up of 30 washable plates, bowls, cups, spoons, & napkins to use for class parties! Classroom parties can generate a lot of throw away waste, so this is another way we can work to save resources.

Hydration Stations

The Green Team installed Hydration Stations in our hallways in 2013 providing a touch-free way to refill water bottles and reduce plastic waste.

Learn More

Whether you’re a teacher, group leader or parent of a curious kid, Metro has tools for learning about recycling, waste prevention and healthy homes and yards.

Have questions about recycling, garbage, waste prevention and hazardous waste disposal?  Find all the answers through Metro’s Ask an Expert service.

Check out this Zero Waste City Guide that includes an interactive map of businesses, organizations and markets around Portland that support a zero waste lifestyle.

Email the Green Team at greenteam@irvingtonschool.com with your questions and ideas and to learn about upcoming activities.