Animal Planet Star Honors Hunter EcoHeroes

Animal Planet Host Dave Salmoni spent the day with Hunter Magnet Elementary students, honoring a team of students who earned second place in the national Siemens “We Can Change the World” Elementary School Challenge. As a reward, Salmoni displayed a variety of animals and talked to the students about the importance of conversation and sustainability.

Salmoni talked at two student assemblies on Oct. 26. He praised the students for their recycling efforts and talked about finding his passion in caring for animals and pursuing ways to learn more about large African cats like lions. The students were excited.

Click to listen to Animal Planet Star Honors Hunter EcoHeroes

This is a 6 minute mp3 file.

The EcoHeroes found out from their cafeteria manager that their cafeteria produces about a dumpster-full of trash every 2-3 days. They decided to focus their project on reducing waste in the cafeteria and changing wasteful behavior. In order to measure whether their strategy made an impact, students collected data before and after they implemented their waste reduction strategy. They raised awareness of the amount of waste produced in the cafeteria by creating posters and sharing strategies for reduction. Every day for a week, everyone who packed a lunch packed up all leftovers to show their parents how much was being wasted. Hunter has seen a surge of reusable containers and water bottles as a result of the EcoHeroes’ efforts. They also added additional recycling bins to help make recycling a habit in the school and asked the principal to include something in his newsletter to parents asking them to pack recycle lunches. From the project they realized students want to help the environment by recycling, they just need the right tools to do it!

The Hunter EcoHeroes earned for their school:

  • an on-site school assembly
  • a $3,000 grant for the school
  • an opportunity to be featured on a Jumbotron in Times Square in New York City
  • a Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge green prize
  • a banner for the school
  • and Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge temporary tattoos

The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge gives students the opportunity, tools and inspiration to become agents of change in their community. In the event, elementary school classes were challenged to create sustainable, reproducible environmental improvements in their classroom or school.


Hunter Elementary EcoHeroes help to unwind a boa constrictor that is wrapped around Animal Planet Host Dave Salmoni.


With help from Animal Planet Host Dave Salmoni, Hunter Elementary EcoHeroes display a boa constrictor that Salmoni estimated to be 10 feet long.