Al Kennedy High School is now certified as an Oregon Green School in Lane County!
Oregon Green Schools is a nonprofit organization that was formed in 1997 to help schools conduct waste audits, provide guidance and training and recommend curriculum resources and grant opportunities with the mission of reducing waste on their campuses. Kennedy is now one of over 200 schools throughout the state certified as an Oregon Green School.
Students and staff at Al Kennedy High School created an integrated Green Team offered through the school’s SPARK program, which provides elective classes to sophomores, juniors and seniors. The class meets twice per week, and is focused upon projects that reduce resource consumption at the school.
The Green Team worked on a number of projects in the school to reduce waste and even participated in a waste audit in order to help identify areas where they could reduce waste. According to the Lane County Green Team website Al Kennedy High School worked to reduce waste in the cafeteria by switching to durable cups, plates and silverware, while the kitchen uses reusable gloves and aprons. Printers at the school were set to print double-sided, and they now send staff memos, announcements, and newsletters by email.
They also created a donation station for staff and students to share unwanted items. Water savings are achieved through watering early in the morning, avoiding watering on rainy or windy days, sweeping instead of pressure washing, mulching mourned plants and trees, and using drip irrigation where applicable.
Through its listed goals, the school’s Green Team has committed to educating staff and students about reducing plastic, recycling properly, and water conservation using periodic school-wide presentations. They will be creating and distributing bins in each classroom to hold paper that been used on one side, allowing the paper to be used a second time before being recycled. They will also be increasing the number of recycling bins available on campus, and planting more native plants to further reduce their water use.
The Oregon Green Schools certification program is designed to:
(1) Acknowledge existing efforts by staff and students to reduce waste, use less energy, and conserve water;
(2) Establish regular monitoring of resource use through periodic waste audits, tracking garbage & recycling, and reviewing energy & water usage;
(3) Assist in setting realistic goals in the areas of waste reduction, recycling, water and energy. Each goal defines one or more hands-on project at Kennedy school, and what steps they will take to achieve each goal;
(4) Encourage Kennedy to further integrate resource conservation into classroom instruction.
In support of their accomplishments, Kennedy was awarded a $500 grant from Lane County Waste Management. The next step for Kennedy will be to move toward Merit Level. A move to Merit Level will strengthen the Kennedy program, and can make them eligible for another $500 grant.
Al Kennedy High School Green Team Information can be found here: https://www.ogslanecounty.org/