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How CHS can transform itself into an eco-friendly school

By: Patrick Covney, Spring Reporter

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This year’s seniors will be Colonia High School’s fiftieth graduating class!  For five decades, CHS has proven itself to be a school of scholastic excellence. Colonia High’s students have given back to the community in many ways and helped make our town and state a better place. It is now time to prove that we can be excellent, not just academically, but environmentally.

A lot has changed in the fifty years that Colonia has had a high school. We now know that our planet is in need. Earth’s ozone layer is disintegrating, polar ice caps are melting, temperatures are rising, and animal species are endangered. Almost all scientists agree that these unhealthy changes are the fault of humans. They also agree, however, that humans have the power to stop this damage from continuing. CHS has what it takes to transform itself into a twenty-first century green school, that can make a difference.

At CHS, both recycling and garbage materials are collected together, not separately, and sent to the same place, essentially defeating the purpose. The implementation of a true recycling program needs to occur.

Many schools around the nation have already been doing their fair share. The non-profit organization Alliance to Save Energy, founded eleven years ago, has been working with thousands of schools to reduce school-wide energy consumption. The results have been astonishing. Attendance is up, costs are down, and grades have even been improving, in districts where ASE has implemented policies.

There are a number of other things to do as well that will save energy and reduce Colonia’s carbon footprint such as:

-creating a compost from food waste in cafeterias.

-shutting off computers when not in use, instead of turning them to sleep mode.

-giving more assignments digitally to save paper.

-banning brown bags for students bringing lunch, and selling reusable lunch containers as a fundraiser.

-banning supplies that contain harsh chemicals, such as liquid glue and petroleum-base crayons.

-replacing disposable dry-erase markers with reusable whiteboard markers.

-reusing classroom items such as scrap paper and art supplies for projects.

-opening windows and using fans instead of air conditioners on only slightly warm days.

-using eco-friendly light bulbs in all classrooms.

-installing bike racks to promote eco-friendly transport.

-providing incentives to students who walk or bike to school.

-using school buses that use more environmentally friendly fuel.

-setting up a green student club so students can oversee CHS environmental policies.

As you can see, there is a lot of work to be done- but don’t be overwhelmed! Implementing these changes has the potential to be a fun and inclusive process for all students. Opponents will argue that CHS is fine operating how it currently is, bu they are wrong, both scientifically and morally. If we, as students and administrators have the opportunity to help save our planet, why not give it a shot? If not for ourselves, let’s do it for our children and grandchildren…




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How CHS can transform itself into an eco-friendly school