Apr 28, 2023

New Buffalo Middle/High recognized as Michigan Green School

NEW BUFFALO — The Michigan Green School Program (established in 2006 and given to public and private schools for their environmental efforts and ecological practices) has recognized New Buffalo High School/Middle School for its efforts to encourage students to sustainably use resources, create a healthy ecology, and focus on environmental education.

New Buffalo Envirothon designs, builds, and presents to the public solar heat collectors designed to heat in the winter reducing the use of fossil fuels contributing to global warming. The district used a solar heat collector to heat the maintenance garage, warming equipment for easier engine starts. New Buffalo Area Schools install and maintain energy efficient systems district wide. They also cover a unit on renewable energy in the Envirothon course.

Envirothon is a class offered to students to teach them how the environment functions and how to identify native and invasive organisms. Participants spend a great deal of time outside observing the environment, and are able to make a positive impact on the surrounding area. Recently, students taking the class have been learning about invasive species and how to control them.

One of the biggest forms of activism that New Buffalo High School involves in is taking students on field trips to help with beach clean-up which lasts up to two days with two different class periods participating. From May 10th-11th, Envirothon students picked up trash at a local beach.

New Buffalo High School has many initiatives that promote reducing, reusing, and recycling, ultimately teaching students the importance of reusing items. The school has installed automatic water bottle fountains to reduce the number of plastic water bottles being wasted. Plastic salad containers from the school lunch are saved to grow plants to sell to collect funds for a cancer charity. Solar heat collectors are installed in the maintenance building to heat the tractors and other ground equipment. These solar heat collectors are made by recycling 169 pop cans donated by community members, and the school offers a training session to teach the community members how to build energy-saving solar heat collectors themselves. Recycled plastic, aluminum, and paper are reused for other school based projects, including aluminum cans used in solar heat collectors. The plastic salad containers and breakfast cups are used to grow plants which we will sell to the community. Designated recycling bins, which middle school volunteers collect weekly, are abundant throughout our classrooms and hallways.

New Buffalo Area Schools engage in green practices through reducing, recycling, activism, energy conservation, and other Earth benefiting activities. These practices help our school by being more environmentally proactive, engaging students to be more self aware about the planet and the conditions of it. With helping students to use these skills now, they will be able to use them later on in life as well as teach others how to live sustainably, through reusing, reducing, and recycling.

Original press release written by New Buffalo Envirothon Students (coordinated by Richard Eberly) and edited by Keri Ann Chlystun.

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