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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Valders, Wisconsin, USA

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Valders, Wisconsin, USA
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Registered: December 2011
City/Town/Province: Whitelaw
Posts: 1
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In my small town of Valders, the “Green Revolution” never fully impacted our way of life. We recycle our paper at school, but the average community member’s environmental knowledge base is poor. I however, have invested a considerable amount of time into understanding the impacts we humans have on the environment by way of contests such as the Wisconsin Solar Olympics Essay contest. After hours of researching global climate change, I received first place in the competition my sophomore and junior years. As my understanding increased, so did my desire to make a difference in my own community. This is why I attend the World Affairs Seminar on Sustainability at Carroll College, Milwaukee this past summer. The week-long camp provided me with intriguing workshops and lectures by professionals dedicated to alternative energy and sustainable global health projects. I was introduced to peers from around the globe, and enjoyed the unified passion we all shared toward sustainable practices. I brought home with me a sense of responsibility to contribute to the sustainable practices I had learned about. I discussed possible projects with my environmental studies teacher, and devised a practical area project.
It was my intention to broaden our school district’s horizons from recycling paper products to reducing our food waste. I began gathering data the old fashioned way; I dug through garbage. Working in cahoots with the janitorial staff, I obtained the six bags of trash generated by the elementary school during lunch each day. I donned my rubber gloves and meticulously scraped the spaghetti noodles out of the styrofoam bowls. I then deposited them into their designated receptacles, compostable and non-compostable. Once I had the food and packaging materials thoroughly sorted, I weighed each of them. Over three separate days, the total weight of elementary lunch garbage produced was 328.75lbs. I calculated that 94.14% of this waste was compostable and 5.86% was non-compostable. I had hypothesized that there would be a greater amount of compostable materials, but I had not foreseen such a vast difference in the two. This data led me to the production of an informative Power Point presentation to educate both school board member officials and elementary school students about the alternative uses for our great amount of compostable materials. To begin, we will ask the elementary students to recognize what parts of their lunch are non-compostable and dispose of them in a special receptacle. It is my hope that by spring, I will have the cooperation of the janitorial staff and agricultural department to develop a sustainable compost pile. Then, the compost will be utilized by the agriculture department or sold to community members and area farmers.
It brings me great satisfaction to know that I am making a change within my community. It is my life-long goal to continue making impacts that simultaneously benefit the environment and the community. I hope that my future degree in Environmental Studies will enable me to conduct further projects on larger scales. I hope that in the true spirit of being “green”, my project will inspire further sustainable practices throughout my school.
Date: December 29, 2011 Views: 6054 File size: 14.0kb, 3925.3kb : 4320 x 3240
Hours Volunteered: 14
Volunteers: 1
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18
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