The Darien Environmental Group, Inc. (DEG) was founded in 1990 as a nonprofit volunteer organization. The purpose of the organization has been to educate Darien residents about ways in which they can change their consumer and lifestyle habits to benefit our environment. Environmental education programs for the elementary school children have been an integral part of the DEG as we believe every individual can make a difference in the quality of our air, water and soil.
In the past, the DEG has overseen many recycling programs including plastics, batteries, and electronics and has distributed reusable bags to new residents with information about being Green in Darien. The creation of the Recycling Center (the former transfer station/town “dump”) and evolution of single-stream recycling has allowed the DEG’s to expand its focus on its elementary environmental education programs. We strongly believe that educating our children at the elementary school level is vital to the creation of sustainable lifestyle habits that benefit our environment. Each year, we reach over 2,300 students through our educational presentations.
October Green Introduction: The DEG briefly describes its role and describes to the new elementary students ways in which they can help their environment. Reusable sandwich 'wrap-n-mats' are distributed to all Kindergarten students.
January/February 3 R's: This 30-minute presentation ties into the 1st Grade curriculum and includes overview of the 3 R's of reduce, reuse, recycle, and how recycling and other green programs are being run at the elementary school level.
Late October/November Composting: This 30-minute presentation introduces composting's simple definition, which is the earth recycling. The above timing is recommended as this program takes place outdoors and can benefit from being conducted in the school gardens.
October Recycling Center Field Trip: This new 90-minute program is designed to replace the 3rd Grade filed trip to the Garbage Museum in Stratford, CT. The field trip—closer and shorter—will visit Darien's new Recycling Center. The above timing is recommended as this field trip takes place outdoors.
April/May Water Conservation: This 25–30 minute presentation ties into the 4th Grade curriculum and emphasizes the importance of this precious commodity. Students are reminded of their proximity to the Long Island Sound and the opportunity it gives them to be good global citizens.
April "Bag It" Documentary: This riveting documentary about plastics and its effects on the world's waterways and oceans has been condensed into a 40-minute version and licensed for public and school use. Each elementary school now owns a copy.