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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West High in the Lead!

Fantastic job, everybody – students, teachers, custodial/maintenance staff, and everyone else involved in the Green Energy Competition between West and Memorial! The competition started Tuesday and tomorrow (Friday) will be the last day.

So far, we have collected nearly 400 pledges to help West conserve energy – way to go, Regents! Tomorrow will be the last day to pledge to conserve energy at West (and be green in general), so stop by the Ash Street entrance before school and during lunch to sign up! It’s really simple; all you need to do is pledge to, for example, turn off lights in all your classrooms or remind teachers to turn down their thermostats. You get a sticker and magnet just for pledging!

On Tuesday, West consumed nearly 19% less energy (or 720 kilowatt-hours) than it did last year in February, while Memorial reduced their school’s energy consumption by about 6%.

WEST (02/12):

February 12, 2013 (7am-5pm) February 14, 2012 (7am-5pm) Difference % Change from baseline
3,136.68 kWh 3,855.81 kWh -719.13 kWh 18.65% decrease

MEMORIAL (02/12):

February 12, 2013 (7am-5pm) February 14, 2012 (7am-5pm) Difference % Change from baseline
4,404.61 kWh 4,665.42 kWh -260.81 kWh 5.59% decrease

Yesterday, West remained in the lead with a 15% reduction in energy reduction (550 kilowatt-hours), and Memorial reduced theirs by 8%.

WEST (02/13):

February 13, 2013 (7am-5pm) February 15, 2012 (7am-5pm) Difference % Change from baseline
3,200.95 kWh 3,748.40 kWh -547.45 kWh 14.6% decrease

MEMORIAL (02/13):

February 13, 2013 (7am-5pm) February 15, 2012 (7am-5pm) Difference % Change from baseline
4,408.86 kWh 4,782.12 kWh -373.26 kWh 7.8%

And, overall, West remains in the lead with a 10% margin, so let’s continue our efforts and keep up the momentum, West!

OVERALL WEST (02/12 and 02/13):

Electricity Use 2013 (7am-5pm) Electricity Use 2012 (7am-5pm) Difference % Change from baseline
6,337.63 kWh 7,604.21 kWh 1,266.58 kWh 16.7% decrease

OVERALL MEMORIAL (02/12 and 02/13):

Electricity Use 2013 (7am-5pm) Electricity Use 2012 (7am-5pm) Difference %Change from baseline
8,813.47 kWh 9,447.54 kWh -634.07 kWh 6.7%

We are on our way to winning the Green Energy Competition, but Memorial’s catching up to us fast! Let’s make sure they don’t close in on our margin of victory!

Stay green,
Amy Hua
amy.h.hua@gmail.com

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Green Energy Competition!

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Get ready for the 2013 Green Energy Competition between West High and Memorial High! The school that reduces its school-day energy consumption by the largest margin over Tuesday, February 12th to Friday, February 15th will receive a grant of money to further green the school.

To help us win, Green Club developed a pledge drive to directly involve the student body and staff; the Pledge Drive started yesterday (February 6th) and will continue until next Friday (February 15th). In just two days, we have collected nearly 150 pledges from students and teachers at West! Popular pledges include reminding teachers to turn off their lights, dressing in layers so teachers can turn down the thermostat, helping teachers pull up blinds to use natural light, and volunteering to turn off computers after school.

If you haven’t yet pledged to help Green Club win the Green Energy Competition, no worries! We’ll be at the Ash Street entrance before school and during lunch all through next Friday, February 15th, so hope to see you there! Also, help us spread the word by telling your friends and teachers about the Competition and by inviting your friends to join the official Facebook event.

Feel free to email us at mwhgreenclub@gmail.com if you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or ideas!

See everyone at the Pledge Drive, and let’s win the Green Energy Competition for West!!
Amy Hua


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RECYCLING CENTERS!

Alrighty  – I’ve been snapping pictures of effective recycling centers, so I’m going to post them all here, and we can have a discussion about why/how they’re effective during our next meeting. Additionally, think about how we can model this at West, so that we don’t have mixed recycling/garbage in every single recycling or garbage bin.
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This was taken at a café in Chicago. Look how people actually respected the signs:

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The street recycling system in Chicago. Note the specialized holes for each item in the recycling bin, and how people have to push a flap to throw stuff out (aka it’s easier to recycle your can than throw it out)
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Here’s the recycling center at Whole Foods in Madison. We’re 80 percent of the way there to having a similar set up in our West High LMC Recycling Center.

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Here’s the trash system at Whole Foods in Madison. Note how they have pictures, descriptions, and even EXAMPLES of what you can throw out in each bin. People respected the signs here too!

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Based off what you see here, what do you think we should take from these successful recycling systems and implement at West? Either comment with your ideas here, post it on the Facebook page, email me, or bring it to our next meeting!

I enjoyed taking all of these pictures! Perhaps I’ll also do a post with unsuccessful systems – or post pictures of how our school’s current “recycling” system is a failure and how we’re going to fix it.

Sevahn
kayaneh@gmail.com


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Snow!!

Happy holidays! Check out the snow on our blog!

Even though we’re in Wisconsin and it’s already December, we’re experiencing unusually warm weather. A lot of people are hoping fervently for snow, but with all these erratic weather patterns around the world (hmm…could it possibly have something to do with global warming?!), we’ll just have to see…

Amy Hua
amy.h.hua@gmail.com
@amy_hua


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11/30 Meeting Summary

We had a Green Club meeting after a string of no school days. It felt great to get back to business!

We took a break from project planning to work with our local branch of Citizens Climate Lobby, an organization dedicated to promoting legislation on environmentalism, by motivating our legislators to act on climate change.

We wrote a total of eleven letters to our newly elected Senator Tammy Baldwin, encouraging her to make legislation on climate change one of her top priorities. Mr. Grady discussed the proposed carbon tax, and many members asked Tammy to consider its implementation and help generate publicity on it. We also wrote about what global warming means to us personally and why we care, and we learned about how climate change has affected our local area.

Meanwhile, some of our club members worked on procuring “Remember…These Come from Trees” stickers for the new paper towel dispensers West High School implemented. (Thanks, Eli, for taking the initiative!) Green Club hopes to fundraise enough to get hand dryers for the school, a green alternative to using paper products. More updates to come on this project!

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“These Come from Trees” stickers on paper towel dispensers at West High School.

Cheers,

Amy Hua
amy.h.hua@gmail.com
@amy_hua


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9/14 Meeting Summary

After much pondering about what would be the most effective way to communicate, we decided to post our Friday meeting summaries here. Not only will they be easier to access, but they will also be public – so everyone can reach out to us with feedback!

Our first meeting was fantastic; we had an excellent turnout! It was  great to see so many new (and returning) faces, but most importantly, a ton of energy and many ideas! We are so excited for this year – we definitely have the capacity to accomplish a ton and make a big impact on our local communities (whether it’s inside or outside West High School).


9/14 Agenda:

1) Introduction

  • Mr. Grady, head advisor
  • Amy and Sevahn, president and vice president

2) 2011-12 Accomplishments

  • Click here to see the PowerPoint!

3) Brainstormed the projects we want to carry out this year. Here’s what we brainstormed (no, we’re not doing all of this!):

  • Green our school
  • Spread awareness about West’s green activities to community
  • Incorporate community (not just including West)
  • Collaborate with local organizations such as Sustain Dane and Citizens Climate Lobby
  • Spread awareness about environmental and climate change issues in general
  • Get local small businesses involved
  • Write grants to fund solar panels and other potential projects
  • Acquire powerful hand dryers and install in West bathrooms
  • Compost
  • Have more clean-up/trash pick-up days
  • Establish better-labeled trash/recycling bins
    • Contact waste management
  • Green lunch room (replace plates, have fresher food options)
  • Build a rooftop garden
  • Offset carbon expenditure
  • Pursue Madison Metropolitan School District funding for our projects
  • Establish committees to work on specific projects; ideas include:
    • Outreach
    • Recycling
    • Composting
    • Grant
    • Energy Conservation/Renewable Energy

4) Discussed mission statement ideas and goals


Projected 9/21 agenda:

1) Finish up the mission statement

2) Form committees and start outlining work in groups
That’s all for now! Feel free to email us with questions or ideas. See you on Friday!

Sevahn Vorperian: kayaneh@gmail.com
Amy Hua: amy.h.hua@gmail.com