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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Tracy High School, Tracy, California, USA

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Tracy High School, Tracy, California, USA
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mmargaretlauu



Registered: December 2012
City/Town/Province: Tracy
Posts: 1
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My years as an active Tracy High School Earth Club member have impacted my school, as well as the community. The Earth Club was created because the school had a major littering problem and had no recycling program. For the first few years, the Earth Club had a limited outreach and the club was not well known on campus. Last year, to gain attention for the Earth Club and the club's purpose, we created a Conservation Week in the week of Earth Day to get people to participate in energy conservation habits. Some examples of the days in our Conversation Week are Turn Off the Lights Tuesday and Take a Shorter Shower Thursday. We also started the "Monday Morning Muffin Message," which involved delivering a muffin to every teacher on the Tracy High School campus. Each muffin contained a message on the top that promoted our club and spread information about the location of recycling bins and the procedure for recycling in the classroom. After the "Monday Morning Muffin Message," more students began to recycle their empty bottles and cans.
This year, the Earth Club partnered with local architect Christina Frankel, who wrote a CalRecycle grant for a $15,000 upgrade to the Earth Club's recycling program. We started to implement the upgrade. We also started reaching out to local K-8 schools to educate the young people of the importance of environmental conservation. The Earth Club also participates in the Tracy High School Homecoming Parade every year, where we march the streets and hold up signs to spread environmental awareness in our community. Pictures of our march get posted on the Tracy Press website every year.
We organized a weekly recycling session for the Earth Club. Every Friday, we would take time out of our scheduled lunch to go to every classroom in the science buildings to take out the recycling. We also work with the leadership students, Earth Science classes, and Special Education classes to help out with the recycling throughout the campus. During September and November, the Earth Club recycled at every home football game. During each game, we would monitor all of the recycling bins that we had set up before the game. Then after each game, we would go on the bleachers to grab every bottle and can to add to the collection. We would take out all the recycling and separate the bottles from the cans. Every game would produce about 6-10 full bags of recycling. All the recyclables get picked up by Tracy Delta Disposal and a check is sent back to Tracy High School. We use the recycling funds to pay for trips, such as conferences, and to update science equipment at our school.
This year, the Earth Club has presented at two events in Pasadena and Stockton to inspire other schools with the efforts the Earth Club makes in Tracy High School. We presented at the Green California Schools Summit event in Pasadena and the Pathways to Green Schools event held at the San Joaquin County Office of Education in Stockton. We were approached by many environmentalists and architects at both events, who were interested in our club's efforts and wanted to spread some of the Earth Club's ideas in their local schools. We managed to contact ACE (Alliance for Climate Education), one of the nonprofit groups that were at both events, to do a presentation for the entire school to watch.
I wanted to do my Apprentice Ecologist project on the Tracy High School Earth Club because the club has made a big impact in my life. The Earth Club helped me break out of my shy nature and mature me into a leader; I went from being just a member of the club, to Vice President, and now President. The reason why I joined the Earth Club was because I always felt irritated by the fact that people would choose to throw their cans and bottles in a trashcan, rather than in a nearby recycle bin. I wanted more people to be aware of the consequences of their actions because a simple action, like recycling, could make a big difference. So when I joined the Earth Club, I felt that this club would help me change the culture of my school, which would inspire others. And because of the Earth Club's efforts, more people in school are gaining environmental awareness and recycling more. The Earth Club also gained more members this year. My family now looks up to me as an advocate for environmental conservation. In my community, the K-8 schools are now creating their own recycling programs. I see less and less trash around my school and around my community. After being in the Earth Club all throughout my high school years, I feel inspired to join the environment clubs and groups in college to share my knowledge and experience from the Tracy High Earth Club and hopefully make a difference throughout the world. In the future, I hope all my efforts made during my years in the Earth Club will transform Tracy High into a green school and inspire other schools and areas to turn green.
Date: December 31, 2012 Views: 4864 File size: 15.4kb, 65.6kb : 717 x 450
Hours Volunteered: 200
Volunteers: 5
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 16 to 36
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