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Updated Feb 5, 2013 - 8:38 am

Tempe girl influences school cafeteria changes

Student Juliet Farr holds the recycled cardboard tray she helped bring to Tempe schools. (Christina Estes/KTAR)

TEMPE, Ariz. - Rover Elementary student Juliet Farr truly understands that perseverance pays off.

When she was in second grade, Farr started working to get leaders to dump styrofoam food trays students received in the cafeteria and replace them with recycled cardboard.

"Styrofoam is bad for the environment," Farr said. "It can take thousands of years to go away."

It took three years for Farr and her friends to appear before the school board three times and meet with former Mayor Hugh Hallman before convincing them to replace the styrofoam trays. Not only did they begin using recycled cardboard trays at Rover Elementary, but at all the schools in the Tempe Elementary District. The change is estimated to keep 900,000 styrofoam trays out of landfills.

Farr's dedication led to her receiving recognition through her Girl Scout troop.

"It's a bronze award. It's just a little pin, but it means a lot to me," Farr said.

She's tackling another project for her troop -- this one should take much less time. It's called the "Pencil Project".

"We'll put boxes in all the classroom and collect pencils," Farr said. "The class that donates the most will get ice cream."

And, the satisfaction of knowing that the pencils will be shipped to students affected by Hurricane Sandy.

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