Madison West Green Club

The experiences of the Green Club at Madison West High School in Madison, Wisconsin as we green our school and community. Join us on our journey to sustainability!

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Launch of TerraCycle Program

Green Club just launched its TerraCycle waste distribution program in the past few weeks! Even while exposure to the program is only developing, considerable quantities of waste materials have been collected. Each month, we’ll update the blog with the quantities collected for the various TerraCycle tracks (each track represents a different brand of products’ packages that we collect and ship to TerraCycle).

(TerraCycle is a company that collects recyclable waste packages and materials and integrates them into their various products. Periodically, we ship packages containing these waste materials, like wrappers or bottles, to the TerraCycle headquarters in Trenton, New Jersey).

Tracks Signed Up For:

Scotch Tape
MOM Cereal
Lärabar/Cascadian Farm
Bear Naked
Honest Kids
Entenmann’s Little Bites
GoGo Squeez
Writing Instruments (currently on waiting list)
Capri Sun
Clif Bar (currently on waiting list)
Sensible Portions/Garden of Eatin’/Terra Chips (currently on waiting list)
Tom’s of Maine

Quantity Collected:

Scotch Tape – 0

MOM Cereal – 0

Lärabar/Cascadian Farm – 4

Bear Naked – 0

Colgate – 0

Honest Kids – 0

Entenmann’s Little Bites – 0

GoGo Squeez – 0

Writing Instruments – 0

Capri Sun – 0

Clif Bar – 14

Sensible Portions/Gardin of Eatin’/Terra Chips – 2

Total – 20 Items (20 TerraCycle points)



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Unofficial 09/06 Brainstorming Session

Initially I figured that it would be a good idea to have a brainstorming session with our club advisor, Michael, Sam, Chelsea, Hallie, and Julie Jarvis from Sustain Dane to formulate some kind of plan for the school year. So when I walked into the room, I wasn’t expecting to find several other club members present. In hindsight, I’m really glad that things worked out the way they did because we had an awesome brainstorming session!!!

Ultimately, we discussed three things:

1) The Green House
-we discussed our goals for the green house/why we want a green house (establish a legacy, bring the school community together)
-discussed a rooftop garden or ground garden option (we need to further research this)
-will receive a list of MMSD school gardens to obtain a flavor of the various varieties/what we want to start
this is our long term goal for the year

2) The Recycling/Trash Crisis
-Awesome Rap video to play for the school (like the EDUCATE video) about recycling vs. throwing things out (Gabe is going to start this – there will be rapper tryouts…)
-Talking to Freshman Advisories (Brett is going to start this)
-Announcements on School TVs (Sam?)
-West HOUSE activity? (unless people will resist this one…)
this is our short term goal for the year

3) Outreach (barely touched on)
-going to middle schools and elementary schools to talk about environmentalism
more outreach within our own school community

I also updated the ‘Members’ section. Check it out!

Our club also found out that West won $1,000 because we had the second largest energy consumption drop during the 2012-13 school year in relation to 2011-12. Nice work everyone!

I’d like to end this post and begin the school year with the following quote by Steve Jobs:
“The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do”

I’m looking forward accomplishing a lot this year with my fellow “crazy people” 🙂

Sevahn Vorperian – President
Feel free to email the club at 

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4/26 Meeting Summary

1) Electronic Recycling Drive last Saturday was a success! We raised $645 and collected 1 ton of ewaste! These funds will be a major help for the greenhouse project. The Madison West High Green Club would like to extend a HUGE THANKS to St. Vincent DePaul and Marianne Gariti for all the help. Our recycling drive wouldn’t have been such a success without them!

2) We started researching the GREENHOUSE!!! We discussed potential locations, took measurements, researched various greenhouses (we’re debating between a DIY or an assembly), and thought about how we were going to hook up a rain barrel to the whole setup. We want this to be 100% self sustainable.

This is SO exciting. It should be really fun to start the greenhouse project. My middle school had a garden and it was incredible to watch it bring together not only the school community, but also the neighborhood community. One major objective with the green house is that it generates enough vegetables to supply a family of 4 – we want the knowledge of conservation/how we’re planting everything to be accessible and well known to the school community. After all, not only are we working to conserve our resources, but educate others while we’re doing it! We’ll keep posting with updates and pictures!


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Electronic Recycling Drive – April 20, 2013

As you can see by the countdown on the left hand sidebar, there will be an ELECTRONIC RECYCLING DRIVE this SATURDAY APRIL 20 from 8AM-1PM. This event will take place at the MADISON WEST HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER’S PARKING LOT located at the intersection of VAN HISE AVE and HIGHLAND.

As a rule of thumb, we will accept ANYTHING WITH A PLUG THAT ACCEPTS BATTERIES UNDER 75 LBS. If you have questions, feel free to send an email to

This fundraiser is a huge deal because we’re trying to raise money for a school green house! We’re asking for a suggested minimum donation of $10. Note that there is a mandatory fee of $15 for small TVs and $30 for large TVs. Last year, we managed to prevent over 2 tons of electronic waste from going into landfills. Let’s make it 5 tons this year!

Below is a list of accepted items. Please send an email to if you have an item that you’re concerned will not be accepted.

  • Computers

  • Laptops

  • Printers (desktop only)

  • Servers

  • Cables & cable boxes

  • Computer peripherals

  • Computer parts

  • Cash registers

  • Cellular phones

  • Computer peripherals

  • All computer parts

  • Christmas lights

  • Copiers

  • Cords

  • CRT monitors

  • DVD players

  • External drives (all types)

  • Fax machines & scanners

  • Keyboards

  • LCD monitors

  • Mice & pointing devices

  • MP3 players & iPods, etc.

  • Networking equipment

  • PDAs

  • Printer & toner cartridges

  • Projectors

  • Satellite dishes

  • Stereos

  • Typewriters

  • UPS units (Uninterruptible Power Supplies)

  • VCRs

  • Video game consoles

  • Microwaves
  • Ink Cartridges
  • Batteries

    We are able to recycle TVs up to 75 pounds with a mandatory fee.

  •    Small TVs – 0 – 24 pounds:  $15   
  •     Large TVs – 25 – 75 pounds:  $30
    We cannot accept Console TVs 

See you Saturday! Again, feel free to email with questions.

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Green Energy 2013: Summary and Pictures

Madison West High School won the 2013 Green Energy Competition against Memorial! Nice work everyone! The amount of support and participation from the student body – the head principal making announcements, teachers shutting off their lights, 400+ students pledging to help out, members of Green Club religiously manning the pledge station, and students reminding teachers to shut off the lights and helping with blind opening – was FANTASTIC!

One of the major challenges with a school-wide competition is to harness enough momentum to plow through the week. Let’s briefly examine our numbers:

Day Date of Competion kWh Competition Day Baseline Date kWh Baseline Day Difference % Change from Baseline Avoided Carbon (metric tons) Avoided Cost
(7am-5pm) (7am-5pm) (metric tons) (assuming $0.12/kWh)
TUESDAY 2/12/13 3136.68 2/14/12 3855.81 -719.13 -18.65% -0.54 -86.30 -0.11
WEDNESDAY 2/13/13 3200.95 2/15/12 3748.40 -547.45 -14.60% -0.41 -65.69 -0.08
THURSDAY 2/14/13 3251.02 2/16/12 3808.88 -557.86 -14.65% -0.42 -66.94 -0.08
FRIDAY 2/15/13 3142.32 2/17/12 3771.08 -628.76 -16.67% -0.47 -75.45 -0.09
OVERALL 2/12/13-2/15/13 12730.97 2/14/12-2/17/12 15184.17 -2453.20 -16.16% -1.85 -294.38 -0.36
TOTAL BOTH SCHOOLS 2/12/13-2/15/13 30345.63 2/14/12-2/17/12 34224.35 -3878.72 -11.33% -2.93 -465.45 -0.58  

On the first day, we reduced our electricity consumption by 18.65% in relation to 2/13/2012. We were all pretty excited, but could we keep it up?

We sure did; on both Wednesday and Thursday, we remained at a constant 14% reduction. In relation to last year’s Green Week, we slowly died down over the week – but this year, we remained constant.

Then, on Friday, we went back up to 16.67% reduction in relation to 2/17/2012 – we were able to further reduce our energy consumption!

On the Facebook page, students reported that they enjoyed having fewer lights on. Classrooms felt more “relaxing” and both teachers and students realized that several light sources in our building really don’t need to be on. Our hope is that people will continue to maintain their pledges and that teachers will continue to use reduced lighting, as our school saved a total of $294.38 just by cutting a few lights.

Between West and Memorial, 3878.72 kWh of energy were NOT used. Therefore, we avoided 2.93 metric tons of carbon emissions. This is the equivalent of taking a car off the road for MORE THAN HALF A YEAR. We shut off some lights, saved money, and helped the planet.

It wasn’t that hard; we just have to make this a habit. Hallways were just fine to walk in with reduced lights:


gec2013-8     Classrooms were more than visible:


We got over 400+ pledges:



AND, we had a ton of fun making this happen:





On behalf of the Madison West Green Club:


THANK YOU FOR MAKING THIS HAPPEN! Incredible things (like this) are only possible when we come together and work hard. In the words of Ghandi (and the excellent reminders in Mr. Grady’s classroom):

we must be the change we wish to see in this world.


Sevahn and Amy
emails: and


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Green Energy Competition: Day 1-3 Results

Today marked the end of the 2013 Green Energy Competition between two major rival schools in Madison, Wisconsin – West High and Memorial. I will post the final results of the competition over the weekend as we find out more information. After winning the first three days of the competition, the Madison West Green Club is incredibly excited to learn how we did on Day 4 and overall!

Yesterday was yet another successful day of the Green Energy Competition! We maintained a 15% reduction in West High’s total energy consumption. Over merely three days, we – collectively as a school – saved nearly 2,000 kilowatt-hours of energy, more than what two average households consume in a month!! The energy data was measured throughout the competition by a meter that the McKinstry company/People.Power.Planet initiative installed at West last year. Click here for more information about the units with which we measured energy consumption.

I’m so impressed by the amount of enthusiasm that our club members, student body, and staff displayed throughout the event. Everyone’s energy (sorry, bad pun) and how devotedly everyone united to meet a common goal was absolutely amazing to witness!

Madison West Green Club

Madison West Green Club

So, here are the data for the first three days of the Competition (they do not include today’s results). I will post the overall energy conservation (of both West and Memorial) as soon as I get the information this weekend!

WEST (02/14):

February 14, 2013 (7am-5pm) February 16, 2012 (7am-5pm) Difference % Change from baseline
3,251.02 kWh 3,808.88 kWh -557.86 kWh 14.6%

MEMORIAL (02/14):

February 14, 2013 (7am-5pm) February 16, 2012 (7am-5pm) Difference % Change from baseline
4,431.08 kWh 4,797.27 kWh -366.19 kWh 7.6%

OVERALL WEST (02/12 – 02/14):

Electricity Use 2013 (7am-5pm) Electricity Use 2012 (7am-5pm) Difference % Change from baseline
9588.65 kWh 11,413.09 kWh 1,824.44 kWh 16.0%

OVERALL MEMORIAL (02/12 – 02/14):

Electricity Use 2013 (7am-5pm) Electricity Use 2012 (7am-5pm) Difference %Change from baseline
13,244.55 kWh 14,244.81 kWh 1,000.26 kWh 7.0%

Thank you again to everyone who made the Green Energy Competition possible – teachers, students, pledgers, custodial/maintenance staff, and more – and James Madison Memorial for working with us to inspire energy conservation in our schools! Hopefully, the event has energized everyone involved to be more conscious about their actions and their energy expenditure and helped everyone realize that change really does begin with the individual!


Amy Hua