Sprouting the Seeds of Change
March 1, 2012
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As new plants begin to sprout up from the grounds of Wellington High, and green tape appears on more and more classroom light switches, the concept of going green grows rampant.
Wellington High has been widely recognized for its efforts to curb the negative effects of its ecological footprint. Last year, for example, the school was honored with receiving an energy incentive refund of $2,400 for its success in reducing the school’s energy use. Despite this, the school still has ample room for improvement in environmental sustainability.
Recently, many WHS teachers have opted to place green tape over some of their classroom light switches in an effort to demonstrate their attempts to minimize energy usage. WHS environmental teacher Karen Clawson explains that soon students may also find compost bins appearing in their science classes. Students will be able to bring in food scraps from home and learn how to convert this waste to fertile soil.
The Environmental Club and Chemistry Honors Society have also held several plantings in an attempt to literally make WHS a little greener. Among these are the Environmental Club’s poinsettia recue, which has set out on the mission of making WHS the adopted home of any unwanted holiday plants. The products of the school’s hydroponics garden are already being sold to teachers and staff on Wednesdays this winter.
However, one of the more recent attempts to make our school more ecologically friendly lies not with the issue of landscape, but with that of sewage. A group of WHS students headed by Jamie Fischer and Zach Delia will soon time how long our school toilets run after each flush, and then report this time to our county plumbers. As A.P. environmental teacher Karen Clawson explains, if the schools toilets “are not filling appropriately […] that probably means there is a leak.” Such leaks mean not only hurting the schools go green efforts, but also the county’s green cash.
Equally as important as reforming the way our school transports waste is reforming how our school transports students. WHS is looking into making signs to promote students carpooling, and incentives to encourage teachers and staff to find transportation buddies.
In the end, one of the best approaches to promoting environmental sustainability is through spreading awareness. As was stated by Mrs. Clawson, “If we could get language teachers […] or the art department to encourage students to read about environmental aspects or do recycling projects and nature photography,” then we could make a large step toward getting our school to be more environmentally conscientious. Perhaps these seeds of change could sprout into a greener outlook on life and encourage students to go out on a limb to make our school more environmentally sustainable.