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

Washington State Capitol. Photo by Nicole Jennings
Washington may soon teach sexual abuse prevention in schools

The State Legislature is considering training aimed at improving child safety.

‘Disney and Dessert’ fundraiser for Mercer Island orchestra students is Feb. 25

The Team O booster club organizes the annual event for fun and funds.

Early returns show voters approving Mercer Island school levy

Replacement educational maintenance and operations measure is passing with 71 percent of the vote.

Mercer Islander appointed to Harborview Medical Center board

Sheryl Whitney hopes to expand behavioral health services, ensure quality care is available to all.

Mercer Island housing market update: inventory drought persists

With only about 30 active listings, the Island is experiencing an inventory deficit.

Mercer Island man conned out of a Mercedes Benz

The blotter consists of officers’ accounts of crimes and other incidents in Mercer Island.

Mercer Island mayor proclaims February as African American History Month

The city proclamation encourages dialogue and a shared commitment to action.

Lakeridge K-Kids Club supports member fighting cancer

Mercer Island students delivered handmade cards to a classmate receiving treatment for leukemia.

Volunteers build bird houses for Mercerdale Park

Concerned Citizens for Mercer Island Parks members will mount the houses in the Native Garden.

Most Read