New Efforts by the Green Team and the Environmental Club

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018


trash bins
Salutations and exclamations for the Green Team’s sortation stations! In a joint effort to reduce waste during lunch in the CHS cafeteria, the Green Team and Environmental Club have now implemented a way for students to sort their leftovers and trash easily and efficiently. Old garbage cans have been replaced with brand new sorting stations with three separate sections: one for trash, one for recyclables, and one for compost. Unfortunately there are a select few who have taken it upon themselves to misuse the school’s newest asset and sabotage the effort to rid the school of unnecessary garbage.

This sabotage is, of course, referring to those who throw their garbage in the compost bin. During the first month of the bins’ introduction, a chosen few formed the “trash police” and prevented these rapscallions from putting their plates into the compost bin along with their leftovers. Once the Green Team and Environmental Club were satisfied with how the general populace was sorting what remained of their lunch into the designated bins, the trash police disbanded as their work was done. The ruffians saw this as their chance to strike and the compost bin was tainted with plastic, paper, and objects that would otherwise not belong in a compost bin. The Green Team are currently strategizing how to prevent this from happening in the future, whether it be reinstating the trash police, putting memes on the bins themselves to encourage proper composting, or even sorting through the mess once lunch is over. The effectiveness of the Green Team’s extreme memes will be seen, but these valiant souls are dedicated to the cause and will persist in their efforts. In an interview with Mrs. Van Wie, one of the advisors of the Green Team, she stated, “We all do what’s quick and easy, what we’re used to. We can use these new procedures and these new policies; they can be just as quick and easy. It’s just a slight shift in the approach.” This is all that everyone is asked to make, a slight shift in the approach to make a huge difference.

The sorting bins are not the only new addition to be found in the cafeteria. In order to reduce plastic usage, the majority of plastic utensils have been removed from the lunchroom in favor of reusable metal utensils. Once students have finished eating, they can return their used spoons, forks, and knives to a tray for them to be washed and used again the next day. This strategy has proven to be wildly successful as very few of the utensils have been lost during the time in which they are taken and later returned at the end of the period. Not only is this cost effective due to their reusability, but the metal utensils have drastically reduced the school’s use of plastic in only a couple short months.

The Green Team and Environmental Club are much more than just a glorified effort to clean up the cafeteria. Mrs. Van Wie tells us, “It’s based on this program called Sustainable Jersey for Schools. The state of New Jersey has ruled out a whole bunch of guidelines that institutions such as municipalities or schools can follow in order to reduce their carbon footprint and to be more aware of their overall green initiatives and programs.” This is not a localized effort, it’s a statewide affair. In the coming months, the Green Team seeks to stress the plastic epidemic and its overuse all over the world. For anyone seeking to join the battle against pollution, please email Mrs. Van Wie or Ms. Falker who advise the Green Team, or Dr. Holzer who oversees the Environmental Club. The goal here is to ensure a better tomorrow, and all are asked to help out in any way they can.