It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the environmental challenges humanity faces. With issues like global warming and deforestation getting harder to ignore, sometimes efforts to save the environment can feel hopeless and the challenges we face completely out of control. In reality the situation is exactly the opposite.
Organizations like Michigan Green Schools work to acknowledge this and teach kids of all ages that by making improvements on a local level, the ecosystem is impacted positively.
Michigan Green Schools is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Michigan schools achieve environmental goals which include protecting the air, land, water and animals through the use of a three tier system. Students participate in projects related to four basic categories. Categories include reduce/reuse/recycle, energy, environmental protection and miscellaneous.
Once a certain number of projects are completed in each of these categories, students are able to apply for the title of either Green, Emerald or Evergreen school. The title you apply for depends on the number of projects your school has completed, to earn a higher rating schools just have to complete more projects in each category.
Green School was started at Loy Norrix by Biology and Environmental Science teacher Jason Wagner.
“It started with a couple kids in the environmental science class, someone brought up the idea of us trying to get certified so we started to do some projects,” commented Wagner when asked how he decided to start the Green School club.
Last year, Loy Norrix was awarded the title of Emerald School, having completed fifteen total projects with at least two in each category.
“It’s fun to do a lot of good projects for the school. I think we’re trying to just work up the chain, and it’s fun to do all the projects that get us to that point,” said senior and Green School member Alex Wallace.
Some projects Loy Norrix Green School members have done over the past year include building a monarch butterfly waystation (places that provide resources necessary for monarch butterflies to produce successive generations and sustain their migration), installing water bottle filling stations around the school and spreading information via poster about how much waste the school produces.
Out of the many projects, Green School members have done over the past year, senior and Green School president Taylor Brown enjoyed participating in the Green School art competition the most.
“That was fun because I made something for it, but it was [also] other student involvement. It was nice to get the word out there that Green School is cool,” said Brown.
Outside of helping the environment, joining Green School is a good way to get volunteer hours, improve your college applications and find something positive to be a part of.
“It’s a really good way to get involved in something at Norrix. Anyone can join and you can kind of build it how you want to, you don’t have to go every time. You can kind of make it your own thing,” said junior and Green School Member Alli Mitchell.
Green School meets Thursdays in Wagner’s room, B15, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Anyone willing to work towards making Loy Norrix a greener environment is welcome.