Recycling Signs

2018, Fort Collins, Colorado, USAStudent Action Recycling Signs

Abby Howshar, Fernanda Sandri, Cole Glover, Fossil Ridge High School

Before beginning the project, Abby, Fernanda and Cole, looked around Fossil Ridge High School to determine the effectiveness of the recycling bins already in place.  They quickly noticed that most of the bins were empty or filled with trash that cannot be recycled.

Recycling Signs Student Action CO

They decided the best course of action would be to place stickers on the bins that indicate what items should be recycled. The created and placed 150 poster signs that showed images of the items that should be placed into the recycle bins.  In addition, they aught 100 elementary school children about the benefits and methods of recycling.

Recycling Broken Technology of Yesterday

2018, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

Reece Wilson, Miles Scharte, Fossil Ridge High SchoolCO Recycling Tech Student Action

Reece and Miles found that a common component in electronics is palladium.  It is in the screens and circuitry because of its magnetic properties. Exposure, ingestion and inhalation can cause birth defects and damage the heart, liver, lungs, spleen and kidneys. They found it was rare to hear about electronic waste recycling in Fort Collins. As a result, e-waste many people were improperly disposing of their electronics.  They decided education their community and sponsor a free collection of e-waste.  They collected 1,137 pounds of e-waste! Their collection included 14 printers, 14 computers, 12 VCRs, 19 phones, and 15 monitors.

 

Lighting the Way to a Better “Watts”-ershed

2018, Greeley, Colorado, USABatteries CO Student Action

Haley Wood, Union Colony Preparatory School

Haley realized that improperly disposing of compact fluorescent light bulbs can put harmful mercury into the environment.  Haley’s project aimed to reduce the amount of mercury in the watershed while making her school more energy efficient and aware of the impact of CFLs.

Watt 1

Haley designed a recycling drive at her school at which faculty and students could bring their CFLs for recycling at a local Lowes.  In addition, she purchased LED light bulbs for here school and hung posters and flyers explaining the impact of CFL and LED bulbs.

Overall, she collected 239 CFL and installed 78 LED bulbs around the school for only $317.00.

Lead with LED

2018, Greeley, Colorado, USALead with LED student action LED lighting

Gianna Uyemura, Greeley Central High School

Greeley Central is one of the biggest schools in Greeley. That means there are a lot of lights. Most of these lights use fluorescent bulbs which are inefficient, toxic and outdated. These lights loose close to 80% of their energy as heat and contain mercury. LED lights contain no mercury, run cooler and loose less light to the targeted area.

Student Action Final Contest CO

Gianna decided to replace 266 fluorescent lights to LED. The total cost of the replacement was $677. The savings in electricity costs is almost $14,000 a year!

The Bees Knees

2018, Greeley, Colorado, USACO Bees Knees Presentation Student Action CO

S.Greta Krombholz, Greeley Central High School

Greta realized that everyone is being told that we must save the bees.  However, most people don’t understand why this is a critical concern for today. Her goal was to educate the community about the bee problem and plant bee friendly plants.  Greta developed a pamphlet with facts about about local bees and how to take care of the garden.

Bees Knees Greta and Cheque

 She combined the pamphlet with a package of seeds for plants that are bee friendly and distributed these around Greeley. Each packet of seeds contained marigold, lavender, sunflower and poppy seeds for planting.

For a small budget of $165, Greeley will have gardens full of bee friendly plants this summer.

The Energizer Bunny Recycles Too

2018, Berthoud Colorado, USA

Colorado Battery Collection Student Action

Tori Dellwardt, Tyler Adams, Samantha Mulder, Everett Baskall, Berthoud High School

The team of Tori, Tyler, Samantha and Everett researched battery recycling and found that over 180,000 tons of batteries are tossed into landfills every year.

CO Cheque student group

To offset this problem, they placed battery recycling stations in local schools, library and grocery store.  Along with the recycling stations, they hung and distributed posters to advertise the recycling sights.  Within the first month, a total of 410 batteries were recycled.  At Turner Middle school, they collected over 300 batteries.  Interestingly, the Berthoud Library only collected 4 batteries.

The total cost of the project was only $150 which makes it a simple reproducible idea throughout Colorado.

Earth, We are the Last Straw

Earth Last Straw Student Action Colorado

2018, Greeley, Colorado, USA

Grace Patrick, Greeley Central High School

After reading an article from the “Last Plastic Straw”, Grace decided to be the change she wanted to see. 

Her first step was to collect data on the number of plastic straws that were thrown out by popular restaurants in Greeley.  On several Friday nights, she collected the used straws from all of the restaurants.  On subsequent Fridays, she asked the restaurants to only serve straws upon request and collected those used straws.  From this data, when was able to determine straw savings and convinced each restaurant to offer straws upon request only. 

Grace Patrick Last StrawGrace then printed a table tent that explained the rationale for changing straw usage for the customers to read.  In addition, Grace donated paper straws with the Caring for Our Watersheds logo to replace the plastic straws.  Finally, Grace used the plastic straws she collected to create a piece of artwork for each establishment.  The artwork now hangs in each restaurant.

 

Bee Gardens to Promote the Growth of Our Watershed

2018, Berthoud, Colorado, USA

Bee Gardens CO Student Action

Meghan Lucero, Riley Lundgreen, Kelden Cook, Berthoud High School

Erosion and invasive species can be harmful to a watershed because it can destroy soil and use large amounts of water.

In Colorado, Canadian Thistle and Russian Olive can completely replace a natural species.  Bees can help these problems as they help pollinate native species which decreases the invasive species in the area.

CO Bee Gardens Student Action

 Their project was to create a bee garden that would help increase the population of bees near their school.  Meghan, Riley and Kelden created a 20×8 foot garden behind their school in Berthoud that contained perennial bee friendly plants.  The resulting garden should increase the bee population in the area while increasing native plants.

AQUAPONICS SYSTEM AT MIRA LOMA HIGH SCHOOL

2017, Sacramento, California, USA

Aquaponics at Mira Loma

Ravina Sidhu took 4th place in the Caring for Our Watersheds finals for her excellent proposal to build an aquaponics system on her school’s campus to demonstrate this water and resource efficient growing system. After Ravina proposed this project, her sister Jasleen (pictured above w/ teacher C. Kelly) helped to build and install the aquaponics system at school in order to cultivate native plants for an ongoing riparian restoration project. Aquaponics, a system that combines the raising of fish with the growing of plants, uses substantially less water than traditional growing as water and nutrients are recycled in a closed-loop fashion.

 

WATER FILTER PROJECT AT MIRA LOMA

2017, Sacramento, California, USA

Water Filter Mira Loma

Mira Loma High School students Savannah Bosley and Jesus Gonzalez were concerned about the amount of disposable plastic bottles used by students on their campus. Savannah, as President of the Recycling club, saw bins and trash cans overloaded with these bottles everyday. Many students said they brought these single-use water bottles to school because of the poor tasting water at fountains, or because the fountains were old and did not work well and because there was not a place to fit water bottles under to fill up.

Savannah and Jesus decided that a water filtration system on campus would help alleviate some of these issues by providing a convenient source of filtered water for students and staff. When looking into options, there were some restrictions with both plumbing and security issues that did not allow for the installation of the popular Elkay water filling station at a central location on campus. After discussing alternatives with school staff, Savannah and Jesus installed filter units on the sink faucets in multiple classrooms at school, allowing easy access to filtered water for all students on campus throughout the day.