Several initiatives have been launched over the past few months at as students take the lead in contributing toward green environment around the building.
The initiatives include a plastic bottle recycling program spearheaded by Huntington’s chapter of the Science National Honor Society, a plastic bottle cap recycling drive by the school’s Science club and a paper recycling effort coordinated by the Environmental Club.
Science National Honor Society members are also restoring gardens at the school. “Each of these programs is run by highly motivated students who have a passion for helping the environment,” teacher Lori Kenny said. SNHS President Amy Eisen developed and implemented the plastic bottle program with the help of fellow society members. After noticing the massive amount of discarded water bottles around the school, the group decided to mobilize and designed recycling bins for the items.
The bins are located near the front entrance of the building and in the gym, cafeteria and science classrooms. As a result of demand, society members hope to expand their efforts in the coming year to all high school classrooms, as well as to other buildings in the district.
“Currently they have recycled over 2,000 bottles and they can’t wait to hit the 10,000-bottle mark,” Mrs. Kenny said. Not only do the students themselves love the program but Ms. Eisen created a recycling video focused on this very issue. The film seeks to make people more aware of the importance of recycling these materials. The video was a finalist in the “Planet Connect” competition.
The effort to recycle bottle caps captured the interest of sophomore Bobby Scott. After the school signed onto the bottle cap drive sponsored by Aveda, a personal care products company, Mr. Scott noted that Huntington Hospital had hundreds of caps that were discarded on a daily basis and he wanted to help out. “He has collected thousands of caps on his own time and been passionate that they be recycled for good use to help the environment,” Mrs. Kenny said. “He is highly driven and will surely hit the million cap mark faster than we can count them in the club.”
On the flip side of plastic, teacher Craig McKee’s Environmental club has taken over the schools’ paper recycling. Considering the high use of paper in the school, the issue was near and dear to the heart of the club. Once a week club members go room-to-room through the building collecting pounds of paper that cry out for recycling.
Still another SNHS effort involves restoring the high school gardens. The society honored science teacher Rosanne Brienza earlier this year for her past work with the school’s Horticulture club, which is no longer operational. “The beautiful flowerbeds that were groomed and planted by her club are overgrown and filled with debris,” Mrs. Kenny said.
It’s the society’s plan to honor Ms. Brienza and beautify the high school grounds by restoring the gardens. The group intends to raise funds to purchase flower pots and flowers through Mother’s Day plant sales.
Each of these projects seeks to make Huntington a leader in a “green” initiative to help save the planet and restore the community, according to Mrs. Kenny. “Every individual in the clubs and society are integral for making this happen on a daily basis,” she said. “It is exciting to see the growth and efforts of the kids and their devotion to saving the planet.”