The Lakeridge Elementary student Green Team addresses the Mercer Island City Council during their meeting on Jan. 23. The students started a petition to ban Styrofoam in their community. Photo courtesy of Ross Freeman

The Lakeridge Elementary student Green Team addresses the Mercer Island City Council during their meeting on Jan. 23. The students started a petition to ban Styrofoam in their community. Photo courtesy of Ross Freeman

Lakeridge students petition council to ban styrofoam on Mercer Island

As community re-focuses on sustainability, young activists are getting involved.

The Mercer Island City Council was visited by a group of young activists at its Jan. 23 meeting, as the Lakeridge Elementary student Green Team presented a proposal to improve health and sustainability in their community.

The team, led by teacher Heather McLyman, has collected 100 student signatures, plus about 60 on an online petition, to support banning Styrofoam on Mercer Island.

“Only a few restaurants still use Styrofoam to-go containers for their food, but the effect this has on our environment and the potential harmful effects it has on our health, makes this a serious problem that we want to stop,” according to the petition. “Many restaurants on the island already use recyclable and compostable to-go containers and they are readily available for purchase.”

Local businesses Homegrown, Pagliacci, Freshy’s and New Seasons support the petition, said parent and Green Team leader Nancy Weil.

The students have been working on this for months, after applying for a grant through the McKonkey Foundation. Shane McKonkey, a local hero and passionate environmentalist, died in a ski accident. His foundation gives grants to students who make a difference in their cities, Weil said.

The council said it would discuss the ban, possibly at its annual planning session, as it aims to re-focus on sustainability this year. City Sustainability and Communications Manager Ross Freeman gave an update later at the Jan. 23 meeting, and said there was renewed citizen energy around the program. With the help of community groups like Sustainable MI, a Sustainability Action Plan could be drafted in 2018.

See www.mercergov.org/sustainability for more.

Members of the Lakeridge student Green Team, led by Heather McLyman and Nancy Weil, pose with the Mercer Island City Council after their presentation on Jan. 23. Photo courtesy of Ross Freeman

Members of the Lakeridge student Green Team, led by Heather McLyman and Nancy Weil, pose with the Mercer Island City Council after their presentation on Jan. 23. Photo courtesy of Ross Freeman

More in News

Mark LeMaster and Stu Harris look at past class photos during the East Seattle Elementary School alumni event on June 8. Photo courtesy of Owen Blauman
East Seattle Elementary School reunites alumni

Over 150 East Seattle alumni gathered to honor their alma mater on June 9.

Tasting room proposal could redefine alcohol production in King County

Pilot program would benefit wineries, breweries and distilleries. Several farmers are concerned.

Courtesy photo 
                                Daniel Hankes, a junior at Mercer Island High School, is leading a drive to collect eyeglasses to be processed and distributed by the Northwest Lions Club Eyeglasses Recycling Center for his Eagle Scout Service Project.
MIHS Eagle Scout leads drive to collect eyeglasses for people in need

Daniel Hankes is leading a drive to collect eyeglasses to be processed and distributed by the Northwest Lions Club Eyeglasses Recycling Center.

Mercer Island included a detailed map of where Verizon intends to install small cells throughout the city. Mercer Island / courtesy graphic
Mercer Island to see another wave of small cells

Verizon will take its turn in filling in the communication gaps on Mercer Island with small cells.

In a 2015 report from the Washington State Department of Ecology, King County’s Cedar Hills Regional Landfill received 53,739 tons of of plastic bags and wrap from housing and commercial sources alone. File photo/Sound Publishing
No good solution to the plastics problem

Plastic is piling up everywhere from King County to ocean floors, and humans keep making more.

Jesse Bon appointed interim city manager

Bon will serve in the role as the city looks for a replacement following Julie Underwood’s departure.

Sexual misconduct reports triple following ‘Report it to Stop it’ campaign

Joint effort to curb unwanted harassment proves successful.

Contributed photo
                                Bud Palmberg was the lead pastor of the Evergreen Covenant Church for nearly three decades and saw the church grow from 55 to more than 1,000. He died on May 21 on a mission trip to Bali.
Remembering Bud Palmberg

The longtime resident and pastor was beloved by many who knew him.

King County’s $5 million derelict boat problem

When a boat sinks, it costs a lot to bring it up, with millions being spent since 2003 on removals.

Self-driving cars: Heaven or hell?

Depending on factors, traffic and environmental impacts could become better or worse.

Measles confirmed at two Eastside Schools

Parents urged to monitor children for signs.