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Kennedy Goes Green, Catalyst

By Valentina Duong, Clarion Contributor

Green Catalyst is a club dedicated to raising awareness and driving action to a green John F. Kennedy High School, and hopefully the world. The club’s purpose is to solve environmental problems we face. By taking actions through eco-focused volunteering within our community, conserving our resources, and advocating for the cause in our school, we strive to create a greener and more sustainable world. To fulfill our purpose, we will educate and raise awareness concerning current environmental problems.

We set up a recycling system two years ago on JFK campus and encourage everyone to recycle at school and home. We have expanded our collection range and distributed bins to even more teachers on our campus. Every other Friday, members are also encouraged to partake in our recycling program and collect recyclables from teachers’ classrooms. We allow members a hands-on feel both for leadership and helping out on their own school campus. Our recycling program also counts as community service, so members have the opportunity to record their hours and their sheets signed by Mr. Andrews.

“Learning more about green energy savings makes me more conscious of how much energy we really waste in our daily lives. It taught me we can reduce wastage, even if it means something as little as turning off the lights when leaving a room.” – May Tan, 11th grade.

The Club plans to begin campaigning on paper towel usage reduction. By reducing the use of paper towels, we conserve the resources and energy that are used to produce them and save trees. By saving trees, there will be more trees to absorb CO2 to combat climate change. We will make flyers, posters, and school announcements to educate students on how to reduce to using only one paper towel each time.

ProjectGreen AwardLast year, we entered Project Green, a SCUSD program/competition that gives winning teams the chance to change their school to a greener place. After putting much effort in researching, auditing our school, submitting a written report, and presenting to the Project Green judges, we won! We are currently in the process of planning, constructing a self-sustaining indigenous plant garden in the posterior of the main grandstand. Implementation begins next summer 2016.

Most importantly, our main focus now is our collaboration with SMUD in an alliance to save energy in schools. We already began our PowerSave awareness campaigning and presented our findings of our school’s audit data and extremely high prices of utility costs to the faculty meeting. We are progressing towards our district presentation, which takes place on December 10th at Sac City. In our presentation, we will present audit information of our school, any interesting data, behavior recommendations for the campus, results of our campaigning, and finally propose change in order to save energy and reduce costs on our campus.

“Experiencing more about green energy savings will help save a lot of money indeed. It is a great alternative to consume energy when we might run out of fossil fuel, or other main energy sources we use. I also think it will help the environment more because fossil fuel causes a lot of pollution, which can cause people to be sick. If we stick to being green, it will help the environment to be healthier. It would be nice to learn more about green energy savings because it might be the only thing we have left if the world gets worse.” – Brianna Tseng, 12th grade.

Green Catalyst meets every first and third Monday of the month during lunch in Room C-313, Mr. Andrews’s room. We have a membership of 21 students. Contact us by sending an email to jfkgreencatalyst@gmail.com, or to Mr. Andrews, our club advisor at jonathan-andrews@scusd.edu.

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