Pyle Middle Schoolers are Going Green One At a Time
The 6th grade year at Pyle Middle School held a Going Green Gala to present their extraordinary environmental research, data, and analyses last month. Science teachers laid out the challenge to students to take on an environmental issue that bothered them, then propose and implement a solution. The scientific element in the project involved students collecting and evaluating data on the issue before and after the solution to see if it had an environmental impact.
Here are some of the environmental issues that bothered the kids:
- Kids bringing disposable plastic bottles to swim practice instead of reusable water bottles
- Putting paper in the waste stream instead of recycling
- Taking long showers which used up excess amounts of hot water
- Keeping lights turned on at night in institutional buildings (like their school) when there are no people in the building
- Gas-guzzling cars
- Litter and trash on our streets and in our parks
- Using disposable bags instead of using reusable ones
Students understood that many of these issues can be addressed only by personal action and individual behavior change rather than enforceable government laws. So, they took personal action themselves including:
- educating and encouraging their peers and families to change small behaviors
- putting up notices and posters to remind people not to litter
- challenging and timing their families to reduce the length of their showers
- recycling more (especially obvious items like paper)
- encouraging swim team members to bring reusable bottles instead of disposable plastic bottles
- increasing the amount of food waste that was composted rather than sent to the waste stream
Drop by drop, switch by switch, bottle by bottle as people changed their behaviors, students demonstrated that through personal example, as well as outreach and education to others, they could actually reduce their environmental impact. This was hugely rewarding for them, and hugely exciting to see young people leading the charge in personal awareness and behavior change.
Jony Jakobowski, Jacob Bartolomei, Connor Johnson and Joey Cloud documented the environmental and pocket book benefits of taking shorter hot showers. They put their families to the test, timed their showers and put their findings into a video. Watch their video:
The team of four linked heating water to carbon emissions, and to utility bills! What do you think of their mission to reduce the length of hot showers? Can you make the change?