• Green Team Logo


    To find out more about our goals and commitments for this year or if you would like to volunteer with the Green Team, please contact jenn.poulsen@gmail.com

  • 5/9/17

    Announcements: Be an Energy Vampire Hunter

         Energy Vampire

    Some of you will have noticed "Unplug Me" signs on some appliances in your classrooms.  This was courtesy of the Rieke Green Team and we wanted to provide education on these energy drainers!

    Even when these appliances are off they're using energy...

    "Vampire" appliances use electricity even when they "off" by going into standby mode. According to the Department of Energy, vampire appliances and electronics use about 4% or 5% of the energy in an average home. When you include all homes in the U.S., that totals about 52 billion kWh per year or about 26 average-size power plants.

    How can you stop energy vampires?

    • Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use.
    • Use power strips that will turn off all appliances (TVs, cable/satellite boxes and DVD players) or electronics (all computer equipment) plugged into them.
    • Turn off routers, printers and other peripheral computer equipment when not in use.

    So, please be sure to unplug these items at the end of the day in your classroom (and your home!) and thank you for keeping Rieke green!

    Your Rieke Green Team

  • Current Goals


    Green Team

    Holds bi-monthly meetings with students and parents for eco-friendly activities for Rieke. We have had guest speakers from PPS and Safe Routes to School.


    Energy Audits

    Monitor the school's energy use by surveying power use at different times of the day.


    Waste Audits

    Rieke is participating in the EREF's School Cafeteria Discards Assessment Project (SCrAP).  It was developed to quantify both food waste and related wastes (eg. recyclables, to landfill) generated in cafeterias at K-12 schools nationally. The project aims to gather information regarding the quantity of waste generated in school cafeterias and obtain an understanding of how this waste is managed both at the school and after it is hauled away.  Our participation will help guide policy and future initiatives to minimize waste generation and maximize sustainability for schools across the nation.  We will also have a chance to win money to support our Green Team.


    Recycling Projects

    We are currently participating in Terracycle to recycle energy bar wrappers chip bags.   Would like to expand recycling in general for the 2017-18 school year

  • Reducing Waste at Rieke Elementary


    Sophie A. Lafrenz (3rd Grade)


           Five years ago, Rieke Elementary in the Hillsdale Community was the first school awarded the Eco Flag in the entire state of Oregon. Although accomplishing this was an amazing feat, in order to maintain this position, Rieke has to constantly work toward being a more green school. Rieke earned this flag in the first place because we reduced waste and energy at our school, but we have to focus on continuing that work to keep the flag.

    This year, Rieke has worked hard to include Terracycling to cut down on the amount of garbage we throw away. Lately, we have been doing waste audits weekly, and I think many people would be surprised at how much garbage and compost gets thrown away. On April 17, we had 41.5 pounds of compost, 16 unopened food containers, and 40.7 pounds that went to a landfill. On May 5, we found 0 pounds of compost, 16 unopened food containers, and 29 pounds of landfill. Overall, Green Team concludes we did much better in May than in April with less waste going to the landfill (our principal is our main composter and she was out on May 5).

             Rieke’s Green Team is working towards new ways to conserve the waste and compost so that we do not throw away as much food. For instance, we enforce the idea to only take what you will eat. If you get lunch from the cafeteria, only take the amount of fruits and veggies that you are going to eat. Also, if your parents pack you something in your lunch you don’t like, don’t just throw it in the compost or garbage and not tell mom or dad you didn’t like it. If you go that route, mom or dad will think you like that thing in your lunch and they will pack it for you again. Just tell your parents you don’t like that dish.     

             Rieke Elementary is still working to earn the Eco Flag for 2017. We have been working as a school to find ways to reduce our waste. We hope to have new participants in the future to help Green Team reach our goal.



  • During Pick Up & Drop Off, be sure to “Turn the Key!”


    Don't Idle at Rieke


    "Idling" is running the engine of a vehicle when it isn’t going anywhere. Unnecessary vehicle idling is bad for our air, wallets, car, and our kids. School pick up and drop off times are key opportunities to reduce the amount of idling that happens near children, who are the most susceptible to idling hazards. 

    Be sure to read up on these facts about idling so you can help reduce the amount of idling at Rieke.


    Health Effects  

    • Children’s lungs are more susceptible to damage than adults’ lungs
    • Children's asthma symptoms increase as a result of car exhaust
    • Asthma is the most common chronic illness in children and the cause of most school absences



    • Vehicle exhaust is the leading source of toxic air pollution in Oregon
    • Just one vehicle dropping off and picking up kids at one school puts three pounds of pollution into the air per month
    • Just one minute of idling puts more carbon monoxide into the air than smoking 3 packs of cigarettes


    Vehicle & Financial Impacts

    • 10 seconds of idling wastes more fuel than restarting the engine
    • 2 minutes of idling uses as much fuel as travelling 1 mile
    • Idling can lead to expensive vehicle repairs because of residue build-up on cylinders, condensation collected in the exhaust system, and spark plug residue.


    What Can You Do?

    • Turn your vehicle off after 10 seconds- If you are stopped for more than 10 seconds (except in traffic), turn off your engine
    • Reduce warm-up idling- Today's modern engine needs no more than 30 seconds of idling on winter days before driving. Driving is the best way to warm it up.
    • Spread the word-  Talk to your family, friends, and neighbors about the benefits of reducing idling. Rieke Rockets want to beidle free!




    Past Accomplishments

    Participated in the district’s Electricity Conservation Incentive Program and earned the maximum amount of incentive money ($2,000) by reducing energy use by 6.7% over one year.

    Posted visual notices encouraging conservation of paper towels, electricity, water, and reminders of our no idle zone.

    Rieke Rapper has gone completely paperless via email, all flyers are sent as attachments to the newsletter.

    Waste Free Lunch Days held periodically as a challenge to kids and to encourage waste free lunches from home.

    Styrofoam recycling drive with Bridlemile and Hayhurst collected 60 cubic yards that was recycled by Recology Plastics recycling drive with Tryon Creek State Park collected non-curbside products that were recycled at Farwest Fibers.

    Annual Earth Day activities - students made Earth Day pledges and attended assemblies by Freshwater Trust and Metro.

    Discarded copy paper was sent to the district Print Shop to be made into notepads for students and teachers to use.

    Created classroom ‘Party Kits’ containing reusable plate and cups.

    14 different trees were received to be planted by Wilson and Rieke students along the west side of the parking lot.

    Rieke EcoThink Club was started in Spring 2011 as a monthly club for K-5 students interested in environmental issues.