‘Green Knights of Saratoga High’ host summit

December 11, 2013 — by Tiffany Zheng and Jihau Yu
As the doors of the school library swung open, students were hit with a warm gust of chocolate brownie-scented air. But…these weren’t just any ordinary brownies. These were vegan. Saving the environment one brownie at a time.  
On Nov. 5, eight student advocates met in the school library for the annual Green Summit meeting. 
At the meeting, members of the Green Commission discussed the recyclability of certain items like styrofoam and foil, feeding the population, the carbon footprint, the increase in endangered species and habitat destruction.
“What the commission wanted out of the summit was a thoughtful engagement with some of the student body, and a way for us to present and empower them with knowledge and methods of actions toward protecting the environment,” senior and co-head of the Green Commission Amelia Troyer said.
Toward the end of the presentation, the Green Commission reviewed their upcoming projects and goals, emphasizing on the installation of solar panels in the parking lot, increasing the number of hydration systems and improving the energy efficiency of utilities. According to senior Margaret Maccoun, a member of the commission, the participants contributed ideas such as newer, functioning water fountains. 
“We really focused on what Saratoga High students can do to be more environmentally friendly, [such as] campaigning for installation of solar panels in our school parking lot,” Maccoun said. 
The event started with an interactive game that tested the attendees’ knowledge of recyclables and items that are easily mistaken as recyclable. Participants received prizes like penguin chocolates and reusable plastic mugs for volunteering the correct answer. 
“I thought the game that we played was really informative,” said senior Dillon Wong, a member of the audience. “I was surprised about the recyclability of a lot of the items, so I’m really glad they included the game.”
Additionally, Troyer’s vegan recipes were a hit.  
“Personally, I thought one of the major highlights was the reception of my handmade vegan recipe 'zines,” Troyer said. “The nature of a summit, while crucial, can neglect more personal and persuasive methods of connecting with people, and I found a small success in the people coming up to me thanking me for that.” 
According to sophomore Michelle Shen, a member of the commission, the meeting proved to be educational catalyst for change toward a more environmentally friendly campus.
“To make an allusion to Batman, we’d like to think of ourselves as the Green Knights of Saratoga High,” Shen said.