By Gaejeong Lee
The Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation (CELF) held its second Student Sustainability Summit and once again, it supported like-minded young students in their efforts to produce feasible, sustainable solutions to environmental concerns. Sixty high school students from 19 public and private schools across Westchester and New York City participated in the summit. Group leaders led focus groups in discussions, providing possible directions and suggesting resources.
Co-leaders presented their groups’ Collective Action plans to the entire Summit audience. The Education & Activism and Human Rights groups showcased their education project to implement recycling centers at schools and teach elementary school kids about the importance of “Reducing, Reusing and Recycling.”
As part of their effort to assist schools in achieving energy efficiency, the Enacting Real Change, Energy and Transportation groups described a website that would rank schools based on their electrical energy efficiency, and a plan for distributing pamphlets in school parking lots regarding transportation efficiency for Earth Week.
The Food & Gardens and Water groups described school fundraisers for LifeStraws, devices used in developing nations to filter dirty water as it is sucked through a straw.
The Nature & Biodiversity and Climate Changes groups planned to make videos for both younger children and high school students to educate them about endangered creatures.
Lastly, The Sustainable Design and Zero Impact groups designed efficient composting bins with a compartment on top for growing flowers growing that they could construct on school campuses.Another idea was to expand “Earth Hour” to a monthly “Earth Period” at schools, when everyone would turn off lights and electronics for the duration of an entire class.
It was a valuable experience for everyone, especially students, who are enthusiastic about using their skills to improve society in a meaningful and significant way.
Gaejeong Lee is a junior at Horace Greeley High School.