It took some time, but the students at Mount Pleasant Academy finally have reusable lunch trays. The school invites everyone to join them in celebrating this and other green accomplishments.

Mount Pleasant Academy’s second annual Green Day is 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at the school, 605 Center St.

The event is a celebration of the school’s environmental initiatives for the community and will have nutrition, gardening and compost education, local environmental educators, a climbing wall, kids yoga and other hands-on activities.

Each student has created an environmentally themed painting that will be sold to raise money for the art department and the Green Fund. Money from this fund goes to environmental education programs for the students.

Last year, the school switched from hard foam lunch trays to reusable ones. This cut down on waste, and the school was even able to downgrade the size of the Dumpster. This saved the county $4,470 last year in waste disposal fees paid by the Charleston County School District.

Ansara Piebenga, Mount Pleasant Academy parent and Green Committee co-chair, said it took years for the school to get through the red tape to get reusable trays, but she said the students and staff persevered because it was something they were passionate about.

Bronwyn Santos, also a parent, is Piebenga’s co-chair who works for Charleston County Environmental Management.

Piebenga said they initially raised money for the new trays, but the Charleston County School District stepped in and funded them.

This week is also Green Week for the school. Students will weigh their garbage and sort it for trash, recycling and compost to find out how much of an impact it has on the environment.

Piebenga said she hopes sorting is something the school can adopt in the future.

There are also an essay contest and door-decorating contest.

Piebenga said the students are receptive to the green initiatives. She said they were excited to collect juice pouches to recycle and raise money for the school.

“It’s so important. They’re the future. The more we can educate them at a young age, the more they can appreciate the environment. There’s such amazing beauty in South Carolina,” Piebenga said.

The school also overlooks a marsh, so they tie that into lessons.

“We teach them about their ecosystem, and they will want to protect it so it will be here for their children,” Piebenga said.

Reach Jade McDuffie at 937-5560 or jmcduffie@