It’s not easy being green at CVHS

After years of representing the colors green and gold, CVHS is finally “going green.”  In an effort to make our campus a more eco-friendly environment, the leadership class is joining with Smart Energy Club to create a recycling plan for the school.

From a recent school-wide survey, the leadership class discovered that the current recycling plan is sadly deficient.

“Right now, recycling is not too big on campus,” explains senior class president Jasmine Fong.

Some teachers do not use their recycling bins and others do not have bins in their classrooms at all.  Throughout the school there are 40 blue recycling bins, but many of the bins in the courtyard are being used for garbage.  In addition, the leadership class is responsible for rolling the blue bins to and from the Mabel Street curb for pick-up.  This cuts into valuable class time every week.  Also, because pick-up day is Wednesday and leadership does not have class on that day, there are periods of time when there are no recycling bins on campus.

The idea to implement a new plan arose when leadership student Samuel Ison suggested that CVHS become “Green Ribbon Certified.”  The Green Ribbon Certification program is part of the Castro Valley Sanitary District’s effort to make a greener community.  Schools that complete 30 Green Ribbon activities, including introducing reusable trays in the cafeteria and correctly disposing of electronics, are eligible to become Green Ribbon Certified and receive at least $1,500.

The leadership class has decided that there is not enough time to complete all requirements this year because the deadline for completing the 30 activities and submitting a Green Ribbon Certification application is March 15, 2011.  Next year, however, the leadership class will have a green committee to help the school become Green Ribbon Certified.

Until then, new recycling tactics will help the school prepare for Green Ribbon Certification.  Upon staff approval, “green” speakers will present information to science classes and several lunchtime courtyard activities will help emphasize the importance of organic waste and recycling.

In order to counteract the reduction of leadership class time, teachers may be asked to send students to roll bins to and from the curb during class.  Leadership understands that, although this would drastically improve the current system, many teachers will object to class time being cut short.

“We want to make recycling more convenient, but we don’t want to disrupt the learning environment,” says Fong.

While the leadership class will focus on the paper and plastic portion of the new plan, Smart Energy Club will spearhead the part that involves bottles and cans.  Several blue bins in the courtyard will be replaced by black boxes with small holes in the lids, in order to ensure that only cans and bottles are disposed of.

“My club is involved because we want to improve the recycling program at CVHS and divert as much waste away from landfills as possible,” explains Smart Energy Club President Cindy Ma.

Whether it be recycling more or choosing to use a reusable water bottle, every bit of conservation and reduction helps.  Through the new eco-friendly plan, CVHS will hopefully become a cleaner and greener campus.

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