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Environmental Awareness Committee

This evening, from 4:30 to 6:00, I attended my school district's Environmental Awareness Committee meeting. It is the second time I've attended one of their meetings and was inspired to write about tonight's experience.

The first item on the agenda after introductions was to have one of our local middle schools present about what their environmental club has been doing on campus. Two girls from the club attended, and one read a well-written account of her school's green experiences over the past semester. They have a garden, a compost system and food scrapping program, modeling after another middle school in the district. The representatives from the middle school were wearing the neatest t-shirts: a design of a tree and its branches that spelled out the name of the school. The twisting branches spelled "ecology club." The woman who drew the design was at the meeting, too. Our environmental club needs to get some of those!

The committee is comprised of teachers, parents, a school board member (my dad), PTA members, and students. Tonight's meeting included ideas of what to do for Earth Week in April, grant opportunities, and updates from different school sites on what they are doing.

I updated the committee on the garden project taking place at one of the elementary schools that our Environmental Club is helping with. Check out my club's post about it here. One school is creating an event to have a used clothing drive to donate to Haiti, and later they plan on having a shoe drive through an organization called Soles4Souls, as well as a drive for used blankets and towels to donate to a local animal rescue organization. The overriding theme of the ongoing project is to raise awareness for the fact that we often have things in our homes that we no longer use or need that can be used by someone else who is not as fortunate. It's all about Reusing and Reducing!

A retired elementary school principal, Mr. Radulovich (mentioned here), who is very involved in making the world a greener place, brought up a new book called Sustainable Communities (edited by Woodrow Clark) that includes an entire chapter on how introducing and teaching certain concepts to children during kindergarten through high school can help create a more "sustainable community." Radulovich wrote the chapter, which is titled "Building Sustainability: The Role of K-12 Education" and which uses the city we live in as a case study. It's great that he was able to publish the chapter in the book and that the book will hopefully be useful for other communities looking to develop more eco-friendly practices. I totally agree that to create a culture of compassion for the Earth, we have to begin at the first levels of education, when children are still developing their opinions. College is too late, Radulovich mentioned. By that point, opinions are already established for the most part. To get kids inspired to care, you've got to show them the beauty of the natural world when they're younger.
The discussion also generated a lot of creative ideas for various activities the schools can do for Earth Week. Some were even potentially applicable at the high school level, like "No Litter Lunches," recycled art projects, and having the lights out for an hour during the school day. I will be discussing these awesome ideas at our Environmental Club's meeting this Friday.

And now I must go do my homework, watch Obama's State of the Union address, and create the committee's blog.

Thanks for reading!
Green Gal


If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it. Perhaps this is what Thoreau had in mind when he said, “the more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think the same is true of human beings.”
--David Sobel, Beyond Ecophobia


  1. Green Gal, where have you gone? Why have the postings stopped? Disillusioned? Too busy with other school work? Please, keep the torch burning for PUSD's green initiative.

  2. I remember having this activity when I was still studying in a public school at my hometown. Though most of us hate cleaning, removing the lengthy grass, and planting because of the weather, I now appreciate the efforts we did as I see the trees we planted way back in 1995. I guess the school asked us to save the earth rather than loving it first.


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