Laura started her environmental community involvement as Co-Chair of the Roosevelt Elementary School Green Team in 2004. She visited classrooms to teach the primary grades how to pack waste free lunch and how to recycle in the cafeteria. She installed Abitibi paper recycle bins and encouraged their use through promotions and contests. She also created “party packs” of reusable plates, cups and silverware to allow for waste free classroom events.
As her daughters moved on to Lincoln middle school, the green initiatives became locker clean out sorts and excess school supply donation.
Laura is currently Co-Sponsor of the Maine South High School Environmental Club. Each week the club conducts recycling sorts & audits in our classrooms. They collect data and report to students and staff on the items that they remove which otherwise would contaminate our recycling. With education and reinforcement, they have seen continued improvements in our overall recycling efforts.
The Environmental Club conducts forest preserve clean-ups across from Maine South, a vegan cooking challenge and a bi-annual electronics recycling event for our school and community.
As a club sponsor, her role is to support student initiatives. She is continually inspired by the vision of her student leaders who give her hope for the future. One of her student E-Club officers, Elliott, is leading the charge to add native plants to the Maine South Courtyard.
On March 7, the Maine South Environmental Club will again host the Go Green Sponsored One Earth Film Festival. This year’s film is “Going Circular”. The film is about sustainability and the circular economy. The event includes a Sustainability Fair which showcases our local organizations making a difference everyday.
In addition to making greener choices for herself and her family everyday, Laura's intent is to educate and encourage students so their actions can impact the future.
Congratulations, Laura Wilkens!
Take a look at what your neighbors are doing for Park Ridge sustainability!