Green team continues environmental work from the past

November 2, 2018 — by Angelina Chen and Samantha Yee

Throughout the year, the fruits of up to 140 Green Team members’ efforts can be seen on campus — whether that be the labeled waste bins or school events like Earth Week — but it’s not so obvious how much time goes into planning and executing these projects.

Led by senior club president Annie Xu, the Green Team has been worked to help bring awareness to protecting the environment. The club helped start many beneficial projects for the school, organizing the addition of recycling bins to every classroom to reduce landfill waste and recently proposing the installation of solar panels on campus to the school board.

The Green Team has consistently been pushing for various long-term conservation projects to enforce environmental conservation culture at school. The club members are taking bigger steps to accomplish older projects that have been gradually coming into fruition.

One of the biggest projects in the works is the addition of solar panels on campus, particularly in the parking lot where they can provide shade as well as conserve energy. This concept has been in consideration for about 10 years in the Los Gatos Saratoga Union district. According to Green Team co-president sophomore Winston Liu, if the necessary steps are taken, implementation should take only about four to five years.

The project was originally pushed back because of concerns with the aesthetics of solar panels in the parking lot, but the club plans to put together a petition to see the new approval rate of the idea. They are also working with the Los Gatos conservation club to garner resident, student, teacher and parent opinions.

“Basically, the gist is that we are really looking for support from the community to get this on board, because it has failed so many times,” Xu said.

Other concerns are the cost of the project and the energy solar panels would save in comparison, but according to club treasurer sophomore Riya Jain, the money saved on energy and electricity would outweigh the cost of buying the solar panels.

Another one of the Green Team’s oldest projects has been promoting a better recycling culture at school. They have been working on the problem for around two years with a lackluster response, despite the signs and labels put up to encourage recycling.

Last year, they ensured that every classroom had a recycling bin after finding out that about a third of the classrooms didn’t. Now, they’re working with teachers again, giving them stickers to “lead the students the way in this culture of recycling,” Xu said.

“We had posters up all over campus and scratch paper to try to get people to say, ‘hey look, do you see those grey bins; I know they’re grey, but they’re for recycling´ and other tips on recycling,” Xu said.

Another project the Green Team put into motion was the vertical garden by the science building, built last year by graduates Ayush Gupta and Anthony Ding. Their goal was to prove that urban gardening was possible in order to decrease the land use for agriculture.

Working with previous Agricultural Club presidents and engineering and design teacher Audrey Warmuth, they were able to effectively plan the project, to prove that urban gardening was really attainable.

Last year, the Green Team carried out Earth Week from April 16 to 20, and it won’t be any different this year. According to co-media team officer junior Risa Carter, club members and officers worked hard during meetings to plan last year’s Earth Week activities.

“We really want to make sure people are having a conservative environmental effort in making sure that they are doing things ‘green friendly,’” Carter said.

 

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