Final Report

To all the teachers, students, and grocers who helped make the Earth Day Grocery Bags project a reality:

What follows is a compilation of your reports on how many bags were decorated for Earth Day. I've edited out headers to save space, but hopefully have included everyone's Internet address.

I must say right off that the original idea to decorate the bags was not mine - I picked it up from a "science specialist" at a Seattle School District workshop I attended three years ago - don't know her name yet, but when I locate her, be sure that I will pass on your thank you's. I will take credit for putting the idea out on the Internet, though. The idea was posted to Kidsphere and Ednet. Thank you all for responding to me, and not those lists.

This has been an incredible experience for me personally - thank you for the many lumps in my throat and "warm fuzzy" moments as I read through your reports (I've also learned quite a bit technically, sending, saving, responding to, and editing mail!).

The total bag count is currently (April 24) at 8,944! I'll let you and your students add them up for sure from the messages that follow. If you participated and do not find your school listed, and I'll do my best to put out an addendum towards the end of April if you write to me.

I'll start off by describing the experience at my school, Arbor Heights Elementary, in Seattle WA. We decorated 489 bags for our local Safeway. My third graders went to all the classrooms in little teams to show others how to make the bags. I also had them edit the bags as they came back to us (no last names, misspelled words, etc.). On April 20 we carried all the bags to the store, where we were met by 2 local TV stations - we had a wonderful time the next day watching the videotaped segments of ourselves on the evening news! Plus, the store manager has promised my class a pizza party (imagine the glee!). We will have a newspaper article run in a local paper next week. And of course we had an incredible time keeping track of who was doing the project, where you live, and how many bags you made - all posted on a large map. Again, thanks to you all!

Mark Ahlness -
Arbor Heights Elementary School - Seattle, Washington

Dear Mark,
Today our students finish their Earth Day bags. They will send 57 bags to the local co-op for use next week and later. Our store and project is small scale, but we hope it will also advertise the new co-op as well as make people aware of Earth Day and what it stands for. Jill Tammen
Hudson High School
Lakeland, Minnesota
Internet address:

I read your posting and thought i would give it a try. 500 grocery bags from our local store will be distributed to the first, second and third graders at our school Petrosky Elementary in Houston, Texas for environmental messages.

Thought you might like to hear about our other project. On the morning of Earth day students will bring pennies to buy trees through the Children's Earth Fund. The Student Council will accept the pennies, count them, give each child a computer made "card" with a picture of the globe that says "Pennies for the Planet" and contributors will receive a stamp on the back of their hand of the world. Student Council loves these projects and can't wait to "tattoo" people.
Sheila Rooney LangArts/Soc.Studies Specialist
Petrosky Elementary Alief ISD Houston, Texas

We will be doing our bags next week because we are on vacation right now. We will be putting the logo "Earth Day Everyday" on our bags because it will be after Earth Day when they get to the store. We have 175 bags going out next week. I hope this wil count toward your total. Good work.
George Ryon
Riverside Elementary School
Oneonta, New York

Our school participated - Atlantic View Elementary on the Atlantic Ocean inNova Scotia. 193 bags were given out - one per student, grades primary to 5.
Biggest problem was finding a grocery store that used ANY paper bags. Great idea. Counts towards our environmental SEEDS project too! Nancy Barkhouse Atlantic View Elementary
RR# 2 Porter's Lake, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, Canada B0J 2S0

Thnaks for the great idea. The students in grades 4, 5, 6, & 8 in my school decorated Earth Day Grocery bags. They completed 200 bags. We could have done more but that's all the local grocer wanted.
The bags were beautiful and the messages very carefully thought out. Anyone can tell be looking at these bags how much the kids care about their planet and its preservation. Along with this project the 8th graders had written Earth Day editorials in computer lab. Some of these were selected to read over the PA each morning to stimulate the students in their decorating efforts.
"It takes a whole village to educate a child." African proverb
Cathy Kerscher
Computer Lab Teacher
St. Joseph School, K-8
112. W. Broadway Email:
Maumee, Ohio 43537

I am an intern teacher in thrid grade at La Luz Elementary School in Albuqueruqe, New Mexico. I described your idea to the other thrid grade teachers, but my class is the only third grade at La Luz participating. We recieved 58 bags from Furr's (a local grocery store) and have decorated them and I just returned them to Furr's this evening (04-18-94).
My big news is with my intern group! I explanined it to my research group, and two schools are in the process of setting it up; I hope they can get it together in time. Lesley Caisus, an intern at Whitter Elementarly School in Albuquerque, has sparked an interest in her entire school. Tonight at our intern meeting she described the "mess of 500 bags from Albertson's" she is in the process of distributing to all classrooms.
Thanks for the idea, and count 558 Earth Day grocery bags in Albuquerque.
Michael Lovato

Hi Mark and third graders! Wow what a great idea! Our whole school is participating in this project and each student is producing at least 1 bag for distribution. We should have all 300 hundred in the store by Earth Day!
We live in a small town ( less than 5000) called Vanderhoof. We are located geographically at the center ( or pretty close to it) of British Columbia in Canada.
Some of the bags I have seen are excellent and students have really been enjoying themselves as they decorate their bags and think about their planet!
Thanks again for a great project!
Evelyn Dickson Elementary School
Vanderhoof, B.C.
Brian Naka, Teacher
Evelyn Dickson Elementary, SD #56
Community Learning Network
British Columbia

Hello Mark and third graders:
View Acres School in Milwaukie, Oregon participated in the Grocery Bag project.
We decorated 500 bags and the local grocery store was thrilled! We will be awaiting the grand total on Friday!
Monica George, media specialist
Alice Sedgwick, third grade teacher

Hi Mark. My school decorated 410 grocery bags. My school has children from preschool to Grade 6. I returned them all to our local grocery store. I'm sure many of my school's children will be looking for them on Earth Day. My school's name is the Casimir Pulaski Elementary School in New Bedford, MA 02745. Hope to hear from you on your results. Gloria >From GHEALEY@RCNVMS.RCN.MASS.EDU
Our K-6 school in Killbuck, Ohio all made Earth Day bags -- 340 of them. Thanks for a neat project. We look forward to hearing total.

Boyce Middle School sixth grade students have been most creative in decorating grocery bags for the Earth Day Grocery Bag project during the past weeks. We will be delivering 235 bags to one of our local grocery stores on Thursday in preparation for Earth Day on April 22.
Good luck with your final count. We'll be interested to hear the final results.
Carol Hochman
Boyce M.S. Reading Resource Teacher
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
e-mail addresses: AOL

What a wonderful idea!!!!!!! My kids, our teachers, our students, and our local Harris Teeter are really excited about this project. My class of fifth graders is coordinating the effort for our school. It appears that every teacher in the school is wanting to participate with their students...that includes kindergarten! If everyone is able to do this we will deliver at least 567 grocery bags to the store Thursday afternoon for use on Friday, April 22. The manager of the Harris Teeter was so excited that he plans to set aside a special register on Earth Day for our school and the bags we have designed. He has asked that our students design a sign for them to put above the register... He was so excited to be asked to be included!
So, YES!, please include Rosewood School in your list of happy participants! Thank you for your invitation! :-)
                                  Helping to spread the word,
                                      Jamie Wilkerson
                                    Rosewood School
                              Rock Hill, South Carolina 29732

Thanks for the great idea for Earth Day. I am an 8th grade Science, Language Arts & Computer teacher. For the past 5 years Earth Day has fallen on our spring vacation. This activity worked out great. The kids had a wonderful time decorating bags and they, and the community, became more aware of this important day.
We decorated 180 bags in the 6th, 7th & 8th grade. They will be sent out on earth day through our local grocery store. Thanks for the great idea!
Robert Baker
Charlestown Elementary School
Charlestown, NH 03603

Hi Mark. I'm Ann Moore and I teach just north of you at Deming Elementary, in Deming Wash. Our third/fourth grade class decorated 25 bags in one of several earth day center activities. Its a great idea and we plan to give them back to the local grocery store, Dodson's IGA to distribute on Friday. We'll look forward to reading the tally!
From: Gary Moore

Swanson Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska completed 500 grocery bags for Earth Day. We gave them to our local grocer on Thursday, April 21st. The kids had a good time and I heard many positive whose idea was this? Thank you for sharing this neat project. The student council sponsored the activity in our school. I am one of the sponsors. Happy Earth Day!!!
Marilyn Hammond 5/6th grade teacher
Swanson School District 66

Five students and I delivered 431 decorated groceries bags to Schnucks grocery store this morning to be used for Earth Day tomorrow. Students from grades 2 through 6 participated. The teachers loved having such an easy project to do at this busy time of year, because I spearheaded it all and all they had to do was have the kids do the drawing. Thanks for a fun project.
Jan Selby, Librarian
Columbia Catholic School
From: Janet Selby
Columbia, MO 65203

My apologies, I think I wrote the wrong total for our Grocery Bag Project. We have decorated 350 bags at C.K.E.S., not 250 as I think I said in the previous letter.
I hope you are having a good day and lots of fun with the project. I wonder how your weather is at the moment. We are having nice sunny days this week, with around 0 celcius in the morning and warming up to about 10 celcius around noon. At this time of year we have lots of daylight these days, around 15-16 of daylight at the moment. In June we have almost 23 hours of daylight and only one hour of dusk. As you can imagne we do not sleep as much at that time of year.
Thank you for the neat idea for Earth Day. Our students at C.K.E.S. in Whitehorse were quite excited abut this project as it fitted right in with our school-wide theme "Earth Our Home". We have approx. 190 students in the school, Kindergarten to Grade 6 and we have decorated 250 for distribution at one of our local stores tomorrow.
We have been involved with the "Green School" Program developed by the SEEDS Foundation in Alberta for 2 years now and are always interested in new ideas for raising environmental consciousness.
Perhaps you could let us know if we are the most northerly school to participate in this activity.
Keep up the good work - we're all in this together!
Eleanor O'Donovan (for the teachers)
Christ the King Elementary School,
Box 2703,
Whitehorse, Y.T.
Y1A 2c6
From: Eleanor O'Donovan

I run a private preschool out of my home. When I told my kids about the grocery bag project, they were excited! We have a total of eleven children in our preschool. But every little bit counts. We took them to our local Safeway store in Vancouver, WA. Thank you for this Earth Day idea.
The Gassaway Preschool
From: Sherri Gassaway

The Bernice A. Ray Elementary School in Hanover, New Hampshire, has prepared 490 bags which will be distributed today by the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Soc.
My two grade sons having each decorated one, are hoping to get their own bags. I guess I'll be buying a lot of groceries today!
The teachers thought this was a great activity. It was particularly good for the week before spring break. Thanks for the suggestion and taking care of coordinating and tallying the results.
Hope this has arrive in enough time to be included in your totals!
Rosemary Connelly
Hanover, New Hampshire
From: Rosemary Connelly

>From Rosemary.Connelly@Dartmouth.EDU
Swift Water Girl Scout Council Brownie Troop #2057 in Lebanon, New Hampshire, has done 60 bags.

Thanks for the up date! The bag project was wildly popular 500 bags were decorated and will be delivered to Fred Meyers by 12:00 today. Thanks
Bill Feather
Horizon School
Mukilteo, WA

This was a wonderful idea for Earth Day and my school did participate! I am the computer lab coordinator in an elementary school in Potomac, Maryland (a suburb of Washington, D. C.). Every student in grades 1 - 5 at Bells Mill Elementary decorated a grocery bag and we took them to the closest grocery store to the school. I only wish I could have been at the store today instead of teaching school just to see people's reactions! About 350 students decorated bags. I was amused to see that you are located in Seattle, Washington. I was born in Washington, D.C. and still think of myself as being from there even though we live just outside the city. Your idea truly traveled coast-to-coast and I can hardly wait to see your summary to see where else in the world it traveled.
Thanks for the idea.
Joanie Friend, Computer Coordinator
Bells Mill Elementary
Potomac, Maryland 20854

This is the 3rd Grade Class at Lakes Elementary School that helped to facilitate the wonderful Earth Day Grocery Bag Project. We are happy to say that we turned in 500 decorated grocery bags to our near by Safeway Store last night. We are in Lacey, Washington. A few miles south of Olympia, our capital.
Thank you for suggesting the project.
Vickie Hayes and 25 caring 3rd graders
From: "Vickie Hayes (WA)"

Well, we were able to do about 80 bags this week. With testing and some teachers that aren't too motivated to do something on the spur of the moment, I think we did okay.
My class was really into it and many did two bags. They came up with some great slogans. It was great to see their committment.
The Safeway on 15th N.E. and N.E. 125th was very cooperative. They really loved the project and we have started a new relationship with a local business! I made a poster that said who made the bags and they posted it at the main entrance. They asked their customers if they wanted plastic or an Earth Day bag and many of them were very interested and pleased. It was very worthwhile.
Next year I hope to start before Spring Break and get the whole school involved. Thanks for the great idea. The Safeway manager said they will post your nation-wide results in their newsletter.
Krista Canterbury
Olympic Hills
Seattle Public Schools
From: Krista Canterbury

My student teacher donated 150 brown paper bags and had the grade one and twos decorate them for Earth Day. The press came and took photos, and she explained about the network. If you send us your mailing address, we'll send you a photo from the paper. Our school was not mentioned- North Chemainus Primary, Chemainus, B.C. What a great idea you had!
From: Margaret deWeese

From: Beverly Maresh Blinka
Hi! After reading your suggestion on the Earth Day Grocery Bags, Somerville Elementary, Somerville, Texas, decided to participate in a Earth Day Grocery Bag project. We designed and distributed 393 grocery bags to 3 grocery stores in our area. Please add this amount to your final grocery bag total. The children enjoyed the project and came up with some really neat bags.

My 33 Elementary Enrichment (gifted) students took on your project with a whopping success. They distributed 400 grocery bags to various classrooms in three different elementary schools and returned them to the grocery store on Wednesday, April 20. The grocery store was so intrigued by the project that they displayed the bags in their store before they used them. The students who delivered the bags had their picture taken by the local newspaper and made the FRONT PAGE. I can't thank you enough for bringing this project to me. The students (and our community) have become much more aware of Environmental issues, and the project was a lot of fun! We are from Keystone Central School District in Lock Haven, Pa. As a point of reference, we are about 25 miles from Penn State University. Sorry I couldn't get this information to you by April 21, but I was out of town at a conference and just minutes ago received your e-mail.
Thanks again!
Mrs. Sheila Bauman

That's all, folks! Want to try for 20,000 on Earth Day, 1995? :) Many thanks to you all,
Mark Ahlness
Arbor Heights Elementary School
Seattle, Washington