In 2007 we started the Boston Latin School Youth Climate Action Network as a student led extracurricular club devoted to helping the environment. That same year, we won Do Something’s “Increase Your Green Competition” for the positive changes we made in our school and community.
At our first meeting, over 90 students showed up, and formed seven specific committees to take action. Less than a year later, our membership has swelled to over 300 students, and 16 separate committees!
Some of our initiatives include starting a recycling program, which was a challenge because there was no existing program for recycling bottles and cans. The only way that we were able to implement a program was by securing the help of lots of parent and student volunteers who gave freely of their time every day for the month of October to make it happen.
We are currently on our way to establishing a permanent system for recycling cans and bottles in the building as a result of these efforts. Another initiative we called “Lights Out” –As part of the Do Something competition, our energy committee decided a great way to conserve our schools energy would be to change the policy on leaving computers and lights on in the building. The original policy was that computers must be left on at all times in order to participate in automatic updates and virus checks. They are left on every night and all weekend! We hung up signs and made daily announcements about turning off electrical devices.
We also started “Carbon Quizzes” –As part of the Do Something initiative we encouraged our school body to take the online carbon calculator and energy quizzes by posting them on our website www.blsyouthcan.org. We also sent out a notice to the entire faculty urging them to integrate it into their curriculum as a homework or in class assignment. We feel strongly about helping our environment and shared that feeling with our entire school.