Programs » Our Green Story

Our Green Story

Green living at Hamilton School is as easy as Recycle, Reduce, Reuse!  Here’s what the 3-R’s and 2 BIG G’s look like at Hamilton:


We recycle the following items at our school:

  • paper
  • cardboard
  • milk cartons
  • batteries
  • cell phones
  • toner cartridges
  • IPODS/MP3 Players
  • Laptop Computers

Hamilton Elementary works each day to be a green school.  We continue to exceed our recycling targets.


Hamilton School is making steps to become a zero-waste school.  Some of our more recent efforts include:

Elmo’s, projectors, iPads, Chromebooks, and SmartBoards are found in each grade level reducing the amount of paper teachers are using to teach lessons.

Middle school classrooms are moving to be paperless-with all done work on iPads and Chromebooks.

Lights out Hamilton.  Teachers and students are encouraged to turn lights out when they leave a room.

Air dryers are in the bathrooms in our school reducing our dependence on paper towels.


Everyday our school breakfast and lunch waste is composted.  Our fourth-sixth grade students are responsible for chopping up breakfast waste and placing it in the composting bins daily, and we commercial compost our lunch waste (including trays!) The beautiful dirt the earth’s creatures creates from our uneaten food will be used in our school gardening efforts.  Nothing better than “reusing” food!

Children are encouraged to bring reusable water bottles and lunchboxes for their lunches and fill them up at Hamilton’s student water cooler.

Teachers are encouraged to copy on both sides of papers and paper used on one side is given to the preschool room for the blank side to be used as scratch paper.

Other in progress reduction and reuse methods include:

  • Investigating the use of reusable bags for the universal breakfast program
  • Providing families access to resources to send their children with zero-waste lunches to school (reusable water bottles, bags, and laptop lunchboxes)
  •  Every year, families will be receiving an “e-backpack” where all notes will be available online, drastically reducing the amount of paper we are sending home.  Teachers weekly newsletters and the principals letter will also be found online.

Solar Energy

Hamilton received a grant through Illinois Solar Schools to install solar panels on our back roof. Check out our site here!  You can click on “show solar data” to see our energy reduction in very student friendly terms and see solar trends throughout the year!


We were awarded a Learning Garden from the Kitchen Community, you may have seen it on our playground! Every spring, classes all take turns planting seedlings in the garden to harvest throughout the summer.

Green Team

Hamilton School’s Green Team is a cooperative group made up of teachers, students, families, and community members who are interested in supporting our green efforts.  The green team helps with composting, recycling, and promoting our green projects.  Currently the teachers, parents and community members on the green team are writing a Zero-Waste Grant to help aide in waste reduction at Hamilton. Look at this report to see how much we were able to reduce our waste at lunch!

Check out the pictures below of our Zero-Waste Ambassadors learning how to sort out lunch trays!