MSHS students act locally to save environment, by Colleen Peterson and Kaylee Place

As I look out the window, I see a picture-perfect scene—blue skies, white fluffy, cotton-ball clouds, flowers with an array of different colors, an abundance of trees of all sorts and deep blue water so clear that it reflects like a mirror—this is the atmosphere of Marquette. I realize how blessed I am to live in such a beautiful place, but also realize the environmental responsibility that comes with it.
To preserve the natural beauty of this area and other areas around the globe, everyone needs to participate in ways to sustain the natural resources, even by being involved in simple activities such as recycling or reusing.
Societies often “talk the talk,” but many times promote ideas without teaching the importance of these efforts and how successfully to implement environmental programs. To do our part my fellow high school student Kaylee Place and I decided to take action this summer. We devised a plan—a business plan per se.
Marquette Senior High School was our target and we identified a number of improvements the school could make to become environmentally savvy at a relatively low cost. We drafted a plan, submitted a proposal to high school administration and requested recycling bins be placed in classrooms.
We cut and painted approximately eighty boxes, and gathered group of volunteer students to collect the bins twice a week, involving them in an intrinsically rewarding task. We had discussions with the local area waste collection company. We researched how we could recycle other things, such as plastic water bottles. Containers for these bottles now are located in five hallways. This program has been very successful and hopefully will continue to grow over the years.
The next task we tackled was establishing an environmental club, a new student organization at MSHS. Kaylee and I are the co-presidents and founders. Our first meeting had fifteen members, and the club has continued to grow.
The club is in the process of dividing into groups, each tackling issues identified as important to the community. These study and action groups are considering finding alternatives to harsh chemical cleaners, foam school lunch trays, issuing public service announcements to educate students, and encouraging students to be involved.
We feel it is important to be proactive about what you believe. That is why we took an active role in making a difference in our community. The more opportunities people have to be involved and educated on a topic such as recycling, the more apt they will be to take initiative, making their own contributions to the community.
Be on the lookout for us in the community and join us through a donation of your time, talent or ideas.
—Colleen Peterson and Kaylee Place

Editor’s Note: The writers are Marquette Senior High School students

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