The seventh grade students at Ed Smith Elementary School’s concerns go beyond the average teen angst, they’re fighting for a greener tomorrow.
Ed Smith was presented with OCRRA’s Mastri Recycling Excellence Award Monday. The seventh graders are the backbone of Ed Smiths’ greener initiative. They’re so invested that students such as Kyle Giardine sacrifice their much-anticipated lunch period to monitor energy usage and recycling in classrooms
“I feel like we’ve been doing a good job. We’ve helped to environment a good ton. So I think this is a good accomplishment for our school and the Green Team in general.”
Giardine was recognized for his environmental leadership. The Green Team gathers recycling, creates awareness, and works in the sustainable garden. Principal Sam Barber says the teachers help students learn about habitat loss, conservation and recycling.
“I think it’s wonderful and really gives us hope for the future that we’re developing leadership and awareness for the students that they’re going to be the stewards of the earth in the future. This just puts us on a path for ensuring that things will be alright in the future.”
Barber says the social aspects of the Green Team make students want to stay involved. Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency Recycling Specialist Teresa Evans works closely with students on greener proposals. Evans hopes to continue to develop the program by incorporating other aspects of recycling.
“I think the students are doing a great job with traditional blue bin recycling. The next frontier of this is food scrap recycling in the cafeteria. We would love to get the students learning food scrap recovery for composting.”
Executive Director of OCRRA Dareth Glance says providing resources inspires the kids to become environmentally conscious and become recycling representatives.
“There’s nobody more passionate than students for what kind of world they’re going to be inheriting as they get older. They’re also inspiring their parents and other folks they come into contact with. And recycling is actually very easy and it’s something that they can do positively right now. That’s something the kids just innately understand.”
Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency honors a city school with the Mastri Recycling Excellence Award each year. This award hopes to inspire an environmentally friendly generation for the future.