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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Da Vinci High School, Davis, California, USA

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Da Vinci High School, Davis, California, USA
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Registered: December 2011
Posts: 1
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The first year that Environmental Science was offered at our school, the students were presented with a task to make the campus greener or more sustainable. We were given four weeks, no budget, no rubric, and no limits.
I decided I wanted to organize a “Zero-Waste Week”. The concept was to permit nothing to be sent to landfills except for biohazards. My team and I began to research and compile data to determine approximately how much waste was disposed of in the span five days. We were involved in extreme efforts to sort the trash at our school so that nothing was sent to the landfill except for bio-hazardous material. On top of this, we created videos, posters, and made school wide announcements to encourage staff and students to be more aware of their waste and recycling. At the end of the week we had a trash yield of 9 pounds, in comparison to the original output of 304 pounds of trash.
The project concluded and the grades were in, and for any ordinary group of students this would mark the end of the challenge. However, t appeared there was still much left to do if I wanted the implementations of Zero Waste Week to have any lasting effect. I wanted our project to help change the mentality of students towards the resources they use up. I saw the potential of this project as something that could really impact the world in a ripple affect sort of way. To me, this could be the beginning of a generation of young scholars who were dedicated to making innovative change to benefit the social communities they were a part of. So I wanted to take this project a step further.
We now had a huge collection of compost and plastic film trash in our possession. To deal with the large amounts of compost I decided to expand the composting program and create a Compost Committee. The next step was to use all of the film trash.
My idea was to make a Bottle Brick cob bench. The inspiration came from a cob construction that took place at UC Davis. It is a technique that is used as an “end-of-the-line” trash solution, which diverts waste after it is already produced. The film trash is stuffed into plastic bottles, which is then built into a bench structure and covered with Cob – a natural cement mixture. My group wanted to dedicate the Cob Bench and our environmental, waste-reduction endeavors to our old campus security director who died of leukemia several years ago.
Over the course of the next few weeks I was making presentations to the school board, to the district Green Team, to the City of Davis, and to students in order to get the funding and the assistance my partners and I needed. After presenting our project to the Booster Club at our school, which is the portion of the district concerned with funding, they provided us with $500 dollars towards our bench. An inspired parent who saw the presentation gave us full support for whatever other costs we needed. Community members who became aware of our project donated their plastic film waste, and a neighboring elementary school collected their plastic chip bags and wrappers as well to donate to our cause.
The process of constructing our bench enabled many students to realize and consider the amount of waste that they produce on a daily basis, both on campus and at home. The two experts who volunteered to help my group construct the bench instructed us on the materials, tools, and skills needed to create sustainable structures. As a young environmentalist, I found these lessons to be truly inspiring and extremely valuable as we as a society attempt to return to our natural living roots, and lessen our impact on the earth. In addition to our on-campus efforts, we became the first high school to participate in the “1,000 Bottle Brick Benches for Peace” effort occurring in communities around the globe.
In the end, we were left with a truly beautiful reminder that stands as a symbol of how our hard work, and our dedication to student-driven education allowed us to make a mark in the community and in the school. Additionally, our school was able to use the waste that we diverted in a sustainable structure that made an impact on our school’s environment.
This Apprentice Ecologist project allowed us to bring together many students and community members of all ages to work together to reduce our impact on the landfills. As a result, a class of ecologically-concerned students is able to move forward as a generation, conscious of their ability to make real, innovative changes in the world.
Date: December 29, 2011 Views: 8637 File size: 21.7kb, 2874.2kb : 2000 x 3008
Hours Volunteered: 175
Volunteers: 10
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 3 to 55
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 0.030704
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 132.75
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Registered: October 2015
City/Town/Province: SUNYANI
Posts: 1
October 18, 2015 1:08pm

I wish to gain admission in your highly recognized school.