Let’s go green!

Editor’s note: The fifth-graders in Ginny Rowe’s class at Bird Rock Elementary School were given an assignment to report on and write a feature story. Today we publish stories by Lili Davis and Pierce Mayne, picked as two of the best by classmates.

By Lili B. Davis

The world is in danger.

Yet this is the place we live in!

Do you want to help save the Earth?

Where are we most of the time during the year?

School of course!

Bird Rock Elementary (BRE) wants to help. Everyone does. But it’s not easy; it takes time and money. BRE is at a good start, but could surely improve. As the author of the best-selling environmental book, “Hot, Flat, and Crowded,” Thomas L. Friedman says, “Going green is not easy.”

This is what we are doing

I talked to Sarah Lopez, the head custodian of BRE, to see exactly what the school does to go green. Ms. Lopez explained to me that BRE uses fluorescent light bulbs. These light bulbs conserve energy. Also, BRE makes sure to recycle (Ms. Lopez believes that the kids should recycle more) paper, bottles and cans. Finally, Mrs. Barry (BRE’s principal) also told me that the school uses nontoxic cleaners to keep kids safe and to be Earth-friendly.

That’s not enough

We are at decent start, but we need to do more. Ms. Lopez believes we can do a better job about recycling, with a little effort. I agree: With some motivation, anything is possible. Over a period of time, we can earn quite a lot of money from recycling and perhaps have prizes for kids who recycle the most. Recycling competitions? For example: The class that recycles the most wins a pizza party! Students can e-mail work to the teachers to save paper, use both sides of paper, bring lunch in Tupperware containers, and use the new Walk N Rock aluminum water containers (sponsored by Beaumont’s) instead of regular water bottles. There are endless opportunities.

Easy is not the answer

Little and easy strategies are only going to help a little bit. That’s why we need to go big. Skylights can be put in classrooms. Skylights are holes in the roof (it’s covered by glass, so when there is rain, the roof won’t leak) so there can be more natural light than light from a light bulb. Skylights are wonderful, but the price isn’t. The construction work and all the planning are not “cheap.” But with recycling and fundraiser money, it may be more possible. With all that work, compost gardens can be made, too. Compost is decayed plant and other organic matter used as rich fertilizer. We could use the leftovers of kids’ lunches (salad, apples, etc.), and this would make our school look nicer. Maybe in the future we would even have solar panels on our classroom roofs!

Green committee

Who’s going to organize all these green activities? The green team! I’m getting a group of BRE students together who will be in charge of the green things we do. Recycling, fundraisers, compost, skylights, and we could use your help for new ideas! More than thirty-five of my peers have already joined!

The kids are the future of tomorrow; little strategies to go green will make a difference. One at a time. And nothing should stop us. As Harry Lauder said, “The future is not a gift — it is an achievement.” Our generation has to work hard to save our Earth, because we “own” this planet.