Ben Porat Yosef is participating in the Hazon Seal of Sustainability program to help the school become more environmentally sustainable. One of the efforts taken on in this program is the school’s new composting project, which is being carried out by BPY fifth graders. The project was launched by Farmer Yosef Gillers of GrowTorah, who teaches students the fundamentals of gardening and planting, interwoven with Torah lessons and the connections with Jewish values, and Morah Jean Myers, BPY’s science specialist for grades one through five.
The students were taught about bal taschit—the mitzvah not to waste. Students studied facts about food waste in America, and how composting can help reduce waste. Each day during lunch, fifth grade “compost ambassadors” collect leftover scraps of fruits and vegetables to put in their compost buckets, the contents of which are then placed in a special composting bin set aside near the cafeteria. Since May 15, students have collected over 9000 grams of compostable waste. In a few months, this composted waste will be used to fertilize the soil in BPY’s school garden in time for fall and the coming academic year’s planting season.