AHS Goes Greener

Presentations, guest speakers, conserving energy, and more recycling: efforts are underway, but Aviation High School still has a long road to travel before reaching level 2 of the King County Green School Program.

Waste reduction, recycling, managing hazardous materials and conserving energy are all things that AHS students and teachers are striving towards doing in this 2011-2012 school year. Doing so would earn AHS recognition throughout King County of being a level 2 green school. This program that is sponsored by King County encourages schools of all ages to become greener.

AHS began participating in the green school program in June of 2009; in May of 2011, near the end of the school year, AHS was awarded a banner that reads “We are a King County Green School.” It was also mentioned in a press release issued by King County. AHS’s ecology club has been helping the school ever since it has started four years ago.

To achieve level 2 of the Green School Program, AHS must maintain the level 1 duties, and start to conserve energy, so that they can complete the energy conservation criteria. Doing so would decrease the school’s electricity bill and earn AHS the title of a level 2 green school.

“Clubs this year have just started so we are still in the process of figuring out where we want to go from here. We’ve started brainstorming some fun activities throughout the year.” Explained ecology club’s president Tessa Tweet, “Reaching level one recognition took two years so I know level two will take at least that long.”

Level 1 duties included waste reduction, recycling, and hazardous waste management. Ecology club did this by promoting the idea of recycling by giving class presentations and having school-wide assemblies.

More information about the green schools program is available on the King County website, at http://your.kingcounty.gov/solidwaste/greenschools/index.asp.

AHS has increased its recycling program rate from 28% to 35% since it started participating in the program. As a result, recycling bins have been added to classrooms, offices, hallways, and the lunchroom.

 

“We are always teaching students the basics about recycling,” said Tweet, “especially the tricky stuff.”

 

Every year on earth day, ecology club plans and hosts an assembly to inform students on recycling and helping the earth.

 

This year, they plan on having a guest speaker from King County to come and talk to the students about how going green is important. They also plan on having recycle-bot, ecology club’s mascot, come and talk to the students and have them do activities about conserving energy and recycling even more things.

“Our main goal in ecology club is to find ways to reach out into the student body.” said Tweet, “Expect a lot from us this year!”

There are many ways the school has changed since the start of ecology club four years ago, especially when it comes to AHS’s recycling program.

Many students don’t know what they can and cannot recycle. So, ecology club decided that they would go around and put lists on the recycling bins with a list of what they could and could not recycle.

“Did you know you can recycle milk cartons?” said Tweet, “Because I am always pulling them out of the garbage. Things like this are important to know and the posters, presentations, and programs we create really help our students get a better understanding.”

In most classrooms, there are bins that have recycled paper in them so that  paper could be used more than once.

“Before the club there were no big recycling bins around the school,” said ecology club vice president Allison Do, “but now, bit by bit, we’re improving and expanding the recycling program.”

Ecology club also went around and collected bottle caps and sent them to Aveda, Aveda would then recycle the caps and turn them into parts of bottles. Not only did doing this help the earth, but it also helped marine animals from eating them. Aveda is a company that makes eco-friendly cosmetics and hair products.

Not only does ecology club help our school, they help others outside of school as well.

“For the past three years,” explained Do, “we’ve done the Duwamish River clean up.”

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