Students Go Green With Swap Sale and Other Eco-Friendly Efforts
Students from James Caldwell High School and Grover Cleveland Middle School team up to raise awareness about global climate change and the environment.
Students from James Caldwell High School, West Caldwell, and Grover Cleveland Middle School, Caldwell, are working together to educate fellow students and others on global climate change. Members of the high school’s and middle school’s Environmental Protection Clubs (EPCs) teamed up this year to build awareness of global climate change and promote greener ways of living.
Following several annual clean-up activities at the high school courtyard last fall, 14 members of the EPCs attended the Teen Summit on Climate Change on Thursday, Dec. 6, at the Rutgers Cook College campus. The students worked with Rutgers University scientists to learn about climate change science and to develop community service projects that apply their climate change knowledge in their local communities.
On Jan. 14, at the monthly Board of Education meeting, the environmental groups came together once again, illustrating what they learned and proposing ways to make our schools greener. The students presented suggestions for students, parents and staff, including reusable water bottles, recycling bottle caps, and riding bicycles to school.
And, these young students have continued their efforts. On Jan. 30, the high school EPC hosted the alliance for Climate Education, making a 40-minute multimedia presentation to fellow students, educating their peers about the human impact on global climate change and inspiring them to take action.
Following the presentation, students filled out “Do One Thing” pledge cards, promising to do something “green”. Pledge examples included recycling, biking and carpooling to school, and using reusable water bottles.
Both schools already have many green programs in place, including water, can, paper and cardboard recycling. The GCMS club worked with school administrators and staff to host a bottle cap collection competition throughout the month of February, collecting the tops of water and other plastic bottles for recycling.
“Containers were placed throughout the lunch room, making it easier for students to recycle the caps,” said GCMS EPC advisor and seventh-grade teacher Jane Kinkle. “Many people don’t realize that the caps must be recycled separately from the bottles.”
The collection was a success, collecting nearly 5,000 bottle caps, and instilling in students the need to recycle. The containers will remain in the lunch rooms for continued recycling efforts.
At the high school level, the EPC club hosted its first-ever “Swaptacular” event in December.
“Students brought in unwanted items, including jewelry, music, books, and clothing, and swapped those items for other items available,” said club advisor and science teacher Karen Browne. “Any leftover items were donated to charity.”
The event was such a success that the club is hosting another event on Tuesday, March 12, and plans to hold more swaps in the future.
This article was provided by Caldwell-West Caldwell Schools.