Canyons School District ditches styrofoam lunch trays after student’s request


COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah (ABC4 News)- The lunchroom inside Butler Elementary will never be the same. In response to the petition of four girls at the school, the Canyons School District traded out styrofoam trays for an eco-friendly alternative.

Fifth graders Evelyn Fisher and Annabelle Cheney teamed up with fourth-grader Aggy Deagle and her second-grader sister Liv to make a change.

Aggy explained, “It started with a dinner talk.”

Aggy and Liv’s family were preparing for Earth Day last spring and trying to think of a way their family could celebrate. That’s when Aggy had her great idea.

Aggy said, “Why don’t we try to get rid of the styrofoam trays in the lunchroom for a day on Earth Day? It could be our way to celebrate the Earth.”

Aggy took her idea to Butler Elementary’s Principal Jeff Nalwalker. He said they would do it, but there was a slight catch. In order to ditch the styrofoam for the day, they would use plastic trays. However, to use those trays they needed to find someone to wash the plastic trays. The Principal agreed to the extra work and made the Deagle Girl’s idea a reality.

This was a huge success for Aggy, but not the end of the Butler Styrofoam Initiative.

They decided to try and get rid of styrofoam trays entirely.

This is when Evelyn and Annabelle joined the crusade.

The girls put together a petition asking their classmates to support their request. They hung up petitions in the lunchroom and passed around others during recess.

Evelyn said, “I was really happy, it was a lot of work getting the signatures.”

It may have been a lot of work, but they did it. The Fearless Four filled their petition with over 500 signatures, more than 80 percent of the school.

They had their petition, but in order to really make a change, they had to present their idea to the Canyons School Board.

Ms. Annelise Slater teaches second grade at Butler Elementary. She helped the girls to put their idea into a formal request to present to the Board.

Armed with courage and their written speeches, the girls spoke to the School Board and showed the petitions.

The girls were so convincing, the School Board set out to make it work.

In early July the team learned the good news that their request was becoming a reality. Each school in the Canyons School District would ditch styrofoam and switch to a biodegradable eco-friendly lunch tray.

Now the girls want other kids to know, they can do anything!

Evelyn said, “A small group of kids can change the world.”

Kids can do anything. Just ask Liv, Addy, Annabelle, and Evelyn. They did.

A life lesson learned inside the Butler Elementary lunchroom helping to make their world a greener place.

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