Green Thumbs

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It’s common knowledge that Loudoun Valley High School does not recycle despite there being recycling boxes in every classroom. Junior Katie Akin, along with the new club known as The Green Team, are trying to change this.

The Green Team, a new club founded in 2018, is attempting to make major environmental changes focused on recycling and clean living at Loudoun Valley High School. Their goal is to less wasteful and more energy efficient. Founded by Akin and backed by parent Liaison Erin Bucci, the Green Team’s most important goal is to get Valley being more environmentally friendly. They are doing this by attempting to plant a garden in the courtyard and getting Loudoun Valley to recycle.

Although new at Valley, the concept of the “Green Team” is not new. Bucci led an environmental club at Emerick Elementary School. Akin, who was once a student of Bucci, met up with her old teacher this year and got the idea to replicate the club.

“Mrs. Bucci and I recognized environmental problems around the school and talked about revamping the group at Valley,” Akin said. “I realized that if the problems bothered me, I should take action about it, because if everyone has a mentally that someone else will take action, no one will.”

Soon after creation, the club began work on their first big project. Getting Loudoun Valley to recycle. After doing some investigating, the fledgling club discovered the disappointing reason why Valley doesn’t recycle.

“Garbage and recycling bins are not being used properly,” Bucci said.

Akin elaborates by saying how, “One janitor told us that the school has a recycling service and that the janitors have been instructed to recycle. The only thing standing in the way of Valley recycling is the students putting incorrect things in each bin.”

Currently the club is trying to give classrooms the necessary materials they need. These items being the proper types of recycling bins-one for paper and one for plastics- and posters to educate students what and where to put items going in recycling bins. The club is also working on creating a video that will be distributed to homerooms discussing their recycling push.

Recycling, however, is not the Green Team’s only goal. In the future they plan to create a garden in the courtyard or near the water wheel. The goal is to then take fruits and vegetables from the garden and allow them to be used in school lunches. Providing more fresh options for students during lunch. Bucci is optimistic.

“For gardening… we will start to weed and then plant,” Bucci said. “We have already applied for a grant for the garden from LCPS.” It is very likely they will be approved.

Already in year one, the new club has made massive strides. Akin believes that they will not only thrive in years to come, but that the club is extremely important to the community.

“No matter your race, religion, nationality, creed, etc., we all live on this earth and have to live with the effects of pollution,” Akin said. “The Earth is our home and we all have an obligation to be cautious with our actions towards it…[The Green Team] is for ordinary people who want to take action and ensure our world isn’t treated without regard to nature.”

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