Alameda High School, home of the Hornets, has placed green concerns at the center of an array of classes and programs on campus. Green construction techniques are taught through the school’s wood shop class and students in AP Environmental Science regularly provide outreach and education to community members. Student leadership through the Sierra Student Coalition club organizes campus wide projects and events such as Earth Day festivals and a school garden. Student leaders are also actively engaged in helping to expand recycling at businesses and in public spaces in the community adjacent to the school campus along Park Street in Alameda. The school and district are investigating the potential installation of a large solar array on the high school and other school district properties.
Student leaders from AP Environmental Science, advice the Sierra Student Coalition, Roots and Shoots, dosage the Garden Club, the Songwriters Club and the Art Club teamed up to host a lunch time Earth Day Celebration at Alameda High School.
Students sold hand painted reusable canvas bags, reusable water bottles, and fresh lavender infused lemonade to their peers to support environmental initiatives on campus and in the community.
Live entertainment was provided by the Songwriters Club as they performed original songs themed to the term, “Garbage Man,” to a crowd of students enjoying lunch in the outdoor amphitheatre.
Passersby were asked to record an environmental pledge onto a paper leaf and paste it to a growing cardboard tree. Participants then had the chance to guess the CRV value of a toter full of bottles and cans.
The Earth Day event at Alameda High is one part of an expanding environmental initiative on campus that includes CRV redemption, recycling of paper, and an AP Environmental Science project to reduce waste in the community.
Alameda High School began to recycle Clean Paper, Plastic, Glass and CRV this past January. Students in the Sierra Student Coalition, with the help of District and Alameda residents, started a program to divert recyclable materials and provide a better means of collecting CRV materials used by the Alameda High's Student Leadership group to fund many programs around campus.
Alameda High School is implementing a new campus-wide recycling system. Classroom garbage bins are paired with two recycling containers, one for CRV materials like bottles and cans, a second for "clean recycleables" such as paper and aluminum foil. Classroom bins are emptied into rolling recycling carts distributed throughout the campus. Students then sort and collect CRV materials.
"I thought that adding bins would be the most important part of our recycling system," reports teacher Carolyn Griffith, "but actually, the labels that say 'landfill' on the garbage cans seem to be making the biggest impact- students just don't want to put stuff in the landfill."
Student leaders worked with the city and school district to adapt recycling labels for the campus to better reflect the types of waste often found on campus.