Second semester SWSG is structured slightly different from our first semester curriculum. For all chapters of SWSG (Boston and Pittsburgh alike) second semester curriculum is based around a service project. Each chapter picks what type of project they are doing. (I’ve used the term ‘chapter’ a few times. By this, I mean university. For example, we are the Duquesne chapter.) Duquesne chose “Going Green” among three other options. After that, the decision is left to the individual schools.
Roosevelt, the school I mentor at deliberated together. While the girls suggested all the ideas, we eventually pushed them towards one particular one: renovating a morbid garden that the school had, let’s say, “let go”. We were thrilled by this suggestion, because not only is it more thrilling than picking up trash, it is a great way to help the environment and contribute to the community. It’s actually a really great piece of land, and it has awesome potential! After checking with the school principal, we were even more excited to hear that we will not have to pay out pocket for the supplies. We have been planning – we want the garden to be colorful – and the girls are very excited to begin.
We also discovered that Roosevelt does not recycle. To fulfill the educational aspect of the service project, we have been gathering “green facts” for the girls to read on the morning announcements. Although they are at a 5th grade reading level, I think there are some interesting points:
Reducing means cutting down the amount of garbage that is made. The best way to reduce is to only buy items that you really need.
Reuse means to use something again instead of throwing it away. Usually, this means finding a new use for it. For example, you could turn a jelly jar into a drinking glass.
Recycling means taking materials from items you have already used and turning them into brand new products. Most aluminum cans are made of recycled products, because aluminum would take 350 years to disintegrate!
- Paper accounts for 40% of solid waste in the United States, which is about 72 million tons annually. If every household replaced one roll of regular toilet paper with one recycled post-consumer waste roll, four thousand twenty-four trees would be saved.
- The U.S. uses nearly $1 million worth of energy every minute. Instead, with one million dollars, you could also buy 25 Mercedes Benz cars or 4,000 IPod Touches! That is why it is important to turn out your lights when your leave a room.
- Automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, and buses in the U.S. drove over 2.8 trillion miles in 2002 — comparable to driving to the sun and back thirteen thousand, four hundred and forty times.
- One way to cut down on this is to carpool. That means getting a ride to school or work with someone else. If everyone else at Roosevelt did that, the amount of miles driven would lessen greatly by the end of the year!
Consider Going Green this spring!