Woodgrove Students Work to Reduce Environmental Impact

Written by Dominique Cruz and Faith Ralston

With threats of climate change being eminent in people’s minds, Woodgrove students are adjusting their lifestyles to make a difference in the world around them.

These changes range from a small scale, like turning off the lights when they leave a room, to larger ones, such as changing their diet to reduce waste.

Senior Julia Friedl reduces her impact by recycling, reusing water bottles and plastic bags, and by being a vegetarian.

“A lot of people don’t know the amount of energy, water, and waste that goes into processing animals,” said Friedl. “They don’t see the impact beyond what affects them, and they don’t realize how it can affect them later in life.”

Another senior, Elyse Morris, agrees with this. Morris believes that people have a responsibility to care for the environment, even though it’s not always easy.

“It does take more effort and thoughtfulness to be consciously aware of each action you make and how it impacts the larger picture,” said Morris. To reduce the amount of energy she consumes, Morris cooks her own food whenever possible instead of purchasing prepackaged foods and turns the lights out when she isn’t in the room. Morris and Friedl both agree that one person’s actions won’t change the world, but people still have a responsibility to do what they can.

“One person’s single action isn’t going to make a difference but if there are multiple single people then they can all come together and make a bigger impact. You make changes as an individual, then in your school, and then in your community,” Friedl said.

Woodgrove high school has a club called The Green Team, which tries to educate and promote responsible stewardship of resources in the school. Over the years they have collected the recycling, made videos to educate and promote recycling, and have worked to get rid of styrofoam containers in the cafeteria.

This year, The Green Team has mainly worked with the custodial staff to make sure the recycling is handled properly. Each classroom is outfitted with recycling bins and trash cans. Anything that can be recycled should be placed in the recycling bins and all other garbage should be thrown in the trash can. This year, students and staff don’t have to separate their recycling anymore; the town of Purcellville separates the different recyclables at the facility.

“It is important to know that if there is trash mixed in with the recycling, then the custodial staff does not take it to the recycling bins. It is really important to separate trash from recycling,” said Mr. Greening, sponsor of the Green Team. The team’s efforts may not be as visible as in previous years, but the team members are still working behind the scenes to ensure that the recyclables are handled efficiently.