Going Green Club

Olivia Cruz

We all know how important it is to be responsible in the use of our natural resources. We have heard of its importance time and time again. We also all have knowledge about different things we can do to help preserve our natural resources, yet how many of us actually use that knowledge and put those ideas into affect? I had the privilege of meeting a group of young students who are making big changes by raising awareness in many different ways at their school and in their community. These students not only know the importance of preserving our earth at their young age but are actually willing to put in the work to make an impact. These students are part of the Going Green Club from a middle school in Las Vegas. I spoke with Diana Sytko and Adrianne Alloway, the co-advisors, to get more information about the club.

When I asked Mrs. Sytko what inspired her to start the Going Green Club she told me that at the elementary school where she used to work she would take all of her recycling home because there was no recycling program at her school. She wanted to make it easier for other teachers to recycle as well so she was able to get one started. She thinks schools are guilty of using enormous amounts of paper out of necessity because it’s hard to teach students without giving them some work printed out for practice or studying. Since this results in waste paper, she feels it is more important than ever that schools have strong recycling programs in place.

The purpose of the Going Green Club is to educate the school and community members about reducing, reusing and recycling. Adrianne Alloway stated, “We strive to have all staff and students to do their part in saving the Earth. We want everyone to know that recycling is easy and that every little bit helps.” When the club was first getting started, the students began by decorating boxes and placing them in the classrooms for students and teachers to use for their recycling. Throughout the week, the advisor would make an announcement to ask all of the teachers to place their boxes outside their doors so the Going Green Club members could go around and empty them. This went on for about the first year until the club was able to get big recycling bins that they placed in every hall. This gave the classes easy access to empty the recycling bins. By then the teachers and students were in the habit of recycling and continued recycling without needing the reminder of the club. The whole school was recycling now, not just the club, and although implementing a recycling club in a school that was throwing away tons of paper every year is an amazing accomplishment, the club also helped educate the students about the importance of taking care of our resources.

The Going Green Club met once a week to plan lessons for students to learn about Global Climate Change, recycling the impact of not recycling and what can be done in our community. The club also planned fun, engaging activities for Earth Week and planned “Spirit Week” where students get to dress up to show their support for saving the Earth. The members of the club were also able to take a trip to the Spring Preserve, which is a local park dedicated to using resources appropriately and educating children about recycling.

When I asked the Going Green Club what they felt was their biggest accomplishment so far, they told me that through the fundraising they do during the year they were able to purchase several acres of Rain Forest in Costa Rica and an acre of coral Reefs in the Bahamas to protect. Through their fundraising, they were also able to purchase a recycling bin to be placed in the cafeteria so students can recycle paper and plastic bottles, making recycling that much more accessible to students.

It was very inspiring for me to see middle school students putting in their time and effort and making a difference in their school. They set the example, at their young age, for the rest of the Vegas community. They have been able to instill in many people around them: peers, teachers, siblings, parents and community members, a sense of duty and responsibility for the earth. I hope their story inspires each of us to think about what we can start doing now, at work, home or school, to join them in helping save our natural resources.

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