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Colbert Packaging Introduces Students to TICCIT

Wisconsin and Indiana elementary students learn about the lifecycle of trees and the meaning of 'Trees Into Cartons, Cartons Into Trees' from Colbert Packaging.

Kevin Pittner teaches second- and third-grade students about the lifecycle of trees.
Kevin Pittner teaches second- and third-grade students about the lifecycle of trees.

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Students from Riverview School in Silver Lake, Wisconsin, and Bittersweet Elementary School in Mishawaka, Indiana, welcomed employees from corporate neighbor Colbert Packaging. Building on its tradition of educating students about sustainability and the lifecycle of trees, Colbert employee teams, led by Human Resources Managers, Todd Douthit in Elkhart and Kevin Pittner in Kenosha, reached more than 150 second- and third-grade students with ‘TICCIT’ presentations. TICCIT is an acronym for “Trees into Cartons, Cartons into Trees.”

Earth Day 2024 marks the seventh year of Colbert’s involvement in TICCIT. Teams from Colbert’s Kenosha and Elkhart locations volunteered to help. Students and teachers participated with great enthusiasm. The hands-on engagement activity gave students the opportunity to plant a sapling in a paperboard carton filled with soil to bring home. The program shows families that the carton, planted directly in the ground, provides protection and a natural water funnel for the new tree. As the tree grows, the carton will break down and complete the "trees into cartons, cartons into trees" cycle. The visual presentation was topped off with a hands-on session where students were invited to prepare and take home their very own tree sapling in a paperboard planter.

Todd Douthit presents the TICCIT program to second graders.Todd Douthit presents the TICCIT program to second graders.

“The TICCIT curriculum teaches the next generation that trees are a sustainable crop, just like other agricultural crops such as corn and soybeans, and highlights the importance of recycling,” said Colbert Marketing Manager Wanda Speer. Colbert’s commitment to sustainability includes support of wind energy, zero manufacturing waste to landfill practices, responsible paperboard sourcing, and participation in EcoVadis’ business sustainability ratings platform.

Bittersweet Elementary teacher, Karen Delio summed it up: “Thank you for the engaging and informative presentation given to our second-grade students at Bittersweet Elementary.  The students learned a lot about trees and tree products. Mr. Douthit and his crew were attentive to our students and even gave each student a tree to take home and plant!  Great presentation!”

Silver Lake third graders enjoyed the planting activity.Silver Lake third graders enjoyed the planting activity.

Created by the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC), of which Colbert Packaging is a member, the TICCIT program teaches young learners about the role trees play in the environment and our circular economy. Children learn to recognize sustainable packaging and understand how recycling paper-based packaging completes the circle of cartons into trees. The TICCIT program was launched by the PPC in 2010 and is available to schools, organizations, home schools and sponsors (like Colbert) across the country.

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