GMHS Green Team makes a difference

 Messenger photos by Rick Palsgrove
 Green Team members (from left to right) Breshia Wells, Annie Honeygosky, Kaylee Amos, Lacey Upham, and Kaley Clark stack old computer equipment that will be recycled by Intechra. Also pictured at left is John Spengler of Intechra.
 Michaela Williams (left) and Kala Szuk (right) encourage people to come to the e-Cycling and Recycling event at Groveport Madison High School.

Groveport Madison High School is going green.

As part of that effort, the school’s "Green Team" hosted the first annual "e-Cycling and Recycling" event on Sept. 28 in the high school parking lot. There was a truck from Intechra that collected all kinds of electronic equipment, such as cell phones, electronic systems and games, printers, faxes, scanners and cartridges. Also, Waste Management had a carrier there that accepted plastic, paper, cardboard, aluminum and metal cans.

The Green Team is the brainchild of science teachers Kathleen McDermott, Kaerie King, and Joyce Orndorff.

"We were sitting in our office one day and I said I wanted to start an environmental club for students at the school," said McDermott. "Kaerie and Joyce both said ‘yes’ and in two minutes we had a club."

"We wanted something that was positive for the school," said King. "We were interested in it and the kids were interested in it."

"And we wanted something extracurricular to offer the students besides sports," added McDermott.

The recently formed Green Team hopes to field a team in Franklin County Soil and Water’s upcoming "Envirothon." The students will also be involved with in-school recycling.

The group additionally has plans to do trail and creek bank clean up at nearby Three Creeks Metro Park.

"The students will also do pruning at the park as well as stain some bridges," said McDermott. "They’ll be active in the park until June when school’s out."

King said the group will be making contacts for other volunteer opportunities with Franklin County Soil and Water as well as with SWACO.

"The kids are responding well," said McDermott. "They’re awesome!"

Recycling facts

The Green Team provided some recycling food for thought:

•A typical family consumes 182 gallons of soda pop, 29 gallons of juice, 104 gallons of milk, and 26 gallons of bottled water a year, making for a lot of empty plastic containers that could be recycled.

•One third of water used in most homes is flushed down the toilet.

•A person could walk one mile along an average highway in the United States and see around 1,400 pieces of litter.

•The Institute for Local Self-Reliance calculates that recycling creates 36 jobs per 10,000 tons of recycled material compared to six jobs for every 10,000 tons brought to traditional disposal facilities.

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