03/03/2011 11:19 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

National Geographic Challenges Schools To 'Find Your Footprint' And Go Green

In a clear role role reversal, kids across the country are schooling their teachers and communities about reducing waste.

These students have come up with plans to cut down their schools' footprints, with ideas ranging from a waste-free day in the cafeteria to a more eco-friendly cleanup routine in art class.

The schools are competing by earning online votes in order to win five interactive whiteboards, among other prizes, sponsored by National Geographic and Proctor & Gamble.

At The Park School in Massachusetts, a fourth-grade class came up with the Catalog Canceling Challenge, creating a video with instructions on how to cancel unwanted sales catalog in an effort to save trees.

It's become a national effort including kids in 21 states who have canceled 53,000 catalogs, Wicked Local reports. Teacher Ted Wells even shaved his head as a reward.


Rutledge Hall in Illinois shot a kid-friendly documentary to describe the toll pollution takes on oceans, detailing the harm it can cause animals.

"All of these were eaten by birds, like a toothbrush, cigarette lighter, bottle caps, old toys and even other plastics we couldn't even identify. Yuck!"

The Rutledge Hall students are even meeting with the mayor to work on banning plastic water bottles.

"We know that there are financial considerations that we don't completely understand, but we also know that sometimes kids can see solutions to problems better than adults can."


Online voting is open until March 15.