Bexley students go green, save money

In a time when budgets are under the microscope and the environment is a hot topic, a group of Bexley high school students are doing their parts to save the district money while going green.

Members of the school¹s Environmental Club are working on ways to reduce waste while also minimizing funds used in day-to-day operations in the school district.

"Our goal is to reduce our energy usage and consume less coal," Bexley High School senior Megan Leite said. "This will also save money for the district because they won¹t have to pay as much for electricity."

The goal to consume less energy in school is part of an overall initiative in the club that has included expanding the school¹s recycling program and hosting a conference for high school students on coal energy.

The conference, which took place in October at Ohio State University, hosted high school student leaders from throughout central Ohio. It included speakers who discussed global warming, coal usage in Ohio and what high school students can do to help their environment.

"Today¹s high school students are tomorrow¹s leaders," said Nachy Kanfer of the Sierra Club National Coal Campaign-Ohio. "People like Megan and other student environmental leaders are unburdened by the assumptions most people have about what is politically feasible."

The Sierra Club co-sponsored the environmental conference and worked with students to educate them on what sort of job opportunities they can anticipate in emerging industries like clean energy.

"Students today are taught to believe anything is possible if you fight for it, and that¹s why you now find students on the front lines fighting against coal and for clean energy," Kanfer said.

According to the Sierra Club, Ohio produces almost 90 percent of its electricity through burning coal. Leite, who is president of the school¹s environmental club, plans to major in engineering at Ohio State and continue her work of reducing energy consumption.

"It is important to be concerned about the environment as a high school student because this is the world we have to live in for the rest of our lives," Leite said. "It is important to protect the world now, before we damage it anymore. We should want our children to live in a healthy environment."

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