Local high school Green Team dedicated to helping the environment

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- School District 51 managed to save $1.7 million last year in their energy efficiency. Central High School has a Green Team dedicated to helping the environment, and it's a big reason the district saved so much money.

"It's a viable part of their future and something that's worth caring about,” said Central science teacher PJ Janssen.

This time around the students are educating the teachers, showing them how to be a little greener.

“We are trying to make our habits better in the long run permanently for both staff and students,” said Member of the Green Team Aiko Poteet. "I go and make sure there's a recycling bin by every trash can, I make sure signs are up."

The district installed solar panels and energy efficient light bulbs but it's the individual schools that have to work hard each day.

"Turning off a bank of lights is an individual educational thing for teachers and habits that we are trying to do...no drippy faucets wasting water,” said Janssen.

It will benefit the environment outside of the classroom.

“We are running out of landfill space in Mesa County.," said Janssen. "Changing our habits in our community starts with what we do with our kids at home and with our kids at school."

Students are in the process of creating reusable cups to reduce waste on campus and are doing some fundraising for an outdoor greenhouse.

"It's exciting you get to really make a difference in your school which I think a lot of kids don't think you can do,” said Poteet.

Central High School said its recycling bins have gotten so full that they needed to order four bigger containers for the outside area.

The school has applied for the Green Ribbon Campaign Award, which given to schools for their environmental impact and sustainability. The winners will be announced on Earth Day in April.

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