Green Goals

MASC’s new environmental newsletter “GreenCrabs”

Green Goals are now included in the GreenCrabs newsletter!
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Note: Newsletter links are to Canva documents.

September 2023
October 2023
November 2023
December 2023
February 2024
April 2024

Some links on this page are to outside sources.  Please note that MASC has no ownership or control of outside resources.

Green Goals ARCHIVES


April 2024

As the blossoms of April bring spring’s beauty to our doorsteps, now is a perfect time to cultivate habits that contribute to a healthier planet! Students have the power to make significant environmental impacts through everyday actions rooted in conscientious living and sustainability efforts.

As the blossoms of April bring spring’s beauty to our doorsteps, now is a perfect time to cultivate habits that contribute to a healthier planet! Students have the power to make significant environmental impacts through everyday actions rooted in conscientious living and sustainability efforts.

Think Before You Buy – Consumerism has a profound impact on our environment, often in ways we don’t consider. Before making a purchase, ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” Not only is this question financially prudent, but it also reduces waste and the resource-intensive processes required to produce goods. Opting for quality over quantity and embracing a minimalist approach can significantly lower our ecological footprint.

Break Up with Single-Use Plastics – Single-use plastics are a convenience with a costly environmental consequence. They often end up polluting our oceans, harming wildlife, and overloading landfills. Encourage friends and family to use reusable water bottles, bags, and containers. Consider donating your old water bottles to schools or shelters to spread accessibility to sustainable practices! Schools can lead by example, by offering reusable alternatives at functions and in canteens – and you can advocate for them to do so. Contact our environmental coordinators if you’d like support to do so!

Recycle Correctly – Recycling is far more than just tossing items into a blue bin; it’s about understanding what can be recycled and how. Food wrappers and un-rinsed coffee cups often can’t be recycled due to contamination. Educate yourself on the local recycling guidelines and follow them meticulously. When in doubt, find out if an item is recyclable instead of wishfully tossing it into the recycling bin, as this can contaminate the entire batch.

If you’re looking to make an even wider impact, consider contacting your local officials to learn about the process of taking school recyclables to the proper facilities. Only ~32% of the U.S.’s trash is recycled (National Geographic), but advocacy in the past to combat problems in local recycling processes has made a difference. Check out your county’s recycling and waste management website and schedule a meeting with staff to get started and learn how you can help locally!

Choices – As students, the choices you make today lay the groundwork for the future of our planet. This April, establish and nurture eco-friendly habits that will not only green your surroundings but will also pave the way for a sustainable lifestyle. Remember, your actions, no matter how small they may seem, create ripples that can lead to a wave of positive change. So, let’s turn the page this spring and start a new chapter that honors the essence of environmental stewardship!

For more information regarding recycling and reusing, refer to these websites:

March 2024

Incorporating sustainable practices in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day can be as easy as embracing eco-friendly alternatives in decorations, foods, activities, and transportation. These measures will foster a connection between the joy of the celebration and environmental responsibility. By having a good time with a sustainable twist, we can celebrate Irish luck and bring about good fortune for a healthier planet. Here are some ideas for engaging with Shamrocks and Sustainability: 

Identify Reusable Party Favors/Decorations – Single-use party essentials contribute to landfill waste. By reusing party essentials, we can minimize the environmental impact associated with disposable materials.
     • Opt for reusable plates, cups, and utensils to reduce single-use waste during your celebrations.
     • Get creative! Create decorations and party favors with reusable items. This adds a personal touch to the party decor while lessening the environmental implications. Also, check out websites like Pinterest to see how you can repurpose decor from other holidays for St. Patrick’s Day!

Support Local Food/Refreshment Businesses – Investing locally reduces the carbon footprint that is associated with the production and transport of goods, which in turn contributes to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
     • Choose organic food and beverages for your celebration.
     • Shop at locally-owned grocery stores or farmer’s markets to purchase fresh and seasonal products.
     • When choosing a brand to purchase at the grocery store, check the packaging or look up the brand’s website to find information about its environmental impact or sustainability.

Consider Nature-Inspired Activities – Planning environmental-based activities fosters an appreciation for the planet while celebrating the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day.
     • Host a St. Patrick’s Day picnic in a local park. Be sure to bring along green-themed snacks (in reusable containers to reduce plastic waste) and treats to get in the St. Patrick’s Day mood!
     • Create St. Patrick’s Day crafts with your friends and community using natural materials.
            – For example, painting shamrock prints or making nature-inspired St. Patrick’s Day decorations will allow you to explore different forms of art while appreciating the environment.
            – Reuse old materials like plastic water bottles, CDs, and scrap paper!

Utilize Green Transportation – Green transportation helps mitigate the impact of transportation on climate change by reducing greenhouse emissions.
     • Use electric vehicles, biking, walking, and public transportation.
     • Using car-sharing services such as Lyft or Uber can lead to fewer emissions and decreased traffic congestion. It is also fun to carpool with friends or family members as transportation to your St. Patrick’s Day celebration!

For more Shamrocks and Sustainability ideas, please refer to  these websites:
(Note:  MASC has no ownership or control of outside resources),Patty’s%20spirit

November 2023

Happy November, MASC! During the November holiday season, we often relax our sustainability practices to accommodate to the needs and wants of Thanksgiving. However, it only takes a few extra steps to add eco-friendly exercises to this holiday.

Every year, around Thanksgiving time, American families dispose of an average of 1,160 pounds of food. On Thanksgiving dinner alone, approximately 305 million pounds of food are wasted. The production, transportation, and disposal of food can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and water pollution. By adopting sustainable practices, such as minimizing food waste and opting for eco-friendly travel methods, we can reduce the environmental impact of our Thanksgiving celebrations.

Prevent food waste – When food shopping, only buy ingredients that you absolutely need. This will reduce the chance of buying more food than you need – saving food and money!
•  If many guests are planning to bring food to the event, plan in advance to coordinate who is bringing what dish. This planning will ensure that there are no repetitive dishes that could possibly lead to food waste.
•  Freeze unfinished food scraps! If you have food scraps from food preparation, including meat trimmings or vegetable cores, store them in your freezer for future use. These scraps can be used as flavoring or ingredients for future recipes.
•  Compost your food scraps that cannot be reused or repurposed. Make sure to toss organics in the bin or collection container while leaving out utensils, plastics, meat, dairy, and other non-compostable products. 

Offset holiday travel  – Instead of traveling long distances, consider exploring local destinations or events. There are many events and attractions that you can visit without the need for excessive travel.
•  Opt for more sustainable modes of transportation such as trains and buses rather than planes and individual cars. Public transportation often has lower emissions per passenger compared to individual vehicles.
•  Bring reusable items with you, including water bottles, coffee cups, and shopping bags in order to reduce single-use plastic generated during your trip. When disposing of waste, do so responsibly and sustainably. 

By practicing sustainability during Thanksgiving, you can inspire others to do the same. Sharing your values and choices can encourage family, friends, and loved ones to adopt more sustainable practices in their own lives, creating a ripple effect that promotes positive change. By making conscious choices today, we contribute to a healthier and more sustainable world for future generations. Overall, practicing sustainability during Thanksgiving aligns with the principles of gratitude and compassion.

For more Green Thanksgiving recommendations, please review these outside websites:


October 2023

Spooky season is upon us! Yearly, Halloween creates thousands of tonnes of plastic waste–not to mention hundreds of millions of dollars worth of candy. That’s a lot of waste for one day. It is important to celebrate Halloween sustainably to minimize the environmental impact of the festivities. By making sustainable choices, we can reduce waste, conserve resources, and protect the environment. This includes considering eco-friendly options for costumes, decorations, and treats. Here are some ways to mindfully go about this All Hallows Eve:

Costumes: Make your own! 83% of Halloween costumes are made using non-recyclable oil-based plastics; meaning they are set for landfill. That means that about 2000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated, all for one-day use. Instead, make your costumes from old clothes–and let your imagination run wild!
• Thrift! If you can’t find anything good in your own closet, visit a local consignment shop to find materials for a costume.

Pumpkins: Don’t throw away your jack-o-lanterns! The discarded pumpkins will create methane as they decompose, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, compost them or have wildlife eat them. Many areas have sites available for residents to drop off food waste, such as MOM’s Market and local government buildings. Some dropoff points can be found here.
• Fill your pumpkin with seeds to feed birds or wildlife. 

Buy locally-produced candy, if possible. This is a great excuse to visit your local market!
• Look for treats with minimal packaging.
• Stop giving away candies that many kids don’t like – does anyone really like candy corn?

It is imperative to celebrate Halloween sustainably in order to reduce the environmental impact and promote a greener future. By adopting sustainable practices during Halloween, we not only contribute to a healthier planet but also inspire others to make environmentally conscious choices in their own celebrations. Let us celebrate Halloween in a way that brings joy while being mindful of our impact on the environment!

For more spooky sustainability suggestions please check out these websites:


September 2023

Welcome back to school, MASC! Incorporating environmentally sustainable practices into the school environment provides valuable opportunities for students and educators to learn about real-world environmental challenges and solutions.

As training grounds for critically-thinking, solution-finding students and educators, schools must invest in environmental education and awareness, allocate resources for eco-friendly initiatives, and foster a culture of sustainability. By making such efforts, schools can gradually transition towards more eco-friendly practices and contribute to a greener future. These practices will also build a future base of more environmentally-aware voters and industry leaders. 

What can you do as a student or educator to bring about and implement greener practices in school? Here are some examples that you can practice.

Select Eco-Friendly School Supplies – Opt for recycled or sustainable school supplies such as investing in products with minimal packaging or made from renewable materials. Additionally, using reusable lunch containers and water bottles instead of disposable ones reduces waste and prevents single-use plastic from ending up in landfills.

Sustainable Transportation – By choosing walking and biking over motorized transportation, students can contribute to a more environmentally friendly urban environment, while also promoting healthier lifestyles and stronger communities. Walking and biking produce zero tailpipe emissions, unlike vehicles that run on fossil fuels. This means they do not contribute to the emission of greenhouse gasses, which are major drivers of climate change.

Digital Materials – Whenever possible, use digital resources instead of printed ones. This reduces paper consumption and saves trees. Digital materials are not physical objects that can become waste or contribute to litter. Paper waste from outdated or discarded materials can be significant, while digital files can be easily updated, shared, and reused.

Properly Utilize Recycling/Composting Stations – Ensure that there are clearly labeled recycling and compost bins throughout the school while also educating students about proper recycling/composting practices. Recycling and composting divert materials from landfills and incinerators, reducing the overall amount of waste that ends up in these disposal sites. This conserves valuable landfill space and helps prevent the release of greenhouse gasses from decomposing waste.

Participate in Local Environmental Clubs/Organizations – Local environmental organizations work to address pressing environmental issues in your community. By getting involved, you can actively contribute to positive changes that directly affect your surroundings. This knowledge can help you make informed decisions in your daily life and become an advocate for environmental issues.

Prioritize Energy Efficiency – When not in use, turn off lights, computers, and other electronic devices. Many technological devices and systems require energy to operate, and much of this energy comes from non-renewable sources such as fossil fuels. Improving energy efficiency helps reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impact of technology use.

For more sustainability in school tips, please refer to the following websites: Note that MASC does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of the information on other websites.

August 2023

In July, Maryland saw some of its hottest days. As the weather continues to blaze on, here are some ways that you can stay cool without cranking air conditioning to the max all month long:

1.  Drink a lot of water! – Proper hydration regulates your body’s temperature internally and will prevent heat exhaustion, making sure you stay healthy and cool. As recommended by the CDC, when working in the heat, drink 1 cup of water every 15-20 minutes. Drinking at shorter intervals is more effective than drinking large amounts of water infrequently. 

2.  Close curtains/blinds – If you have windows that face the sun anytime between the morning through the late afternoon, close the curtains/blinds to keep the sun from directly heating up your home. Additionally, you can also opt for blackout curtains to insulate your room and minimize the temperature increases that occur throughout the day.

3.  The rule of thumb for air conditioning – As temperatures rise, the need for air conditioning becomes inevitable. If you turn on the A/C, don’t let the temperature dip below 70˚F in an effort to cool your house quickly–your A/C will just run longer to reach that temperature and, in doing so, will create temperature imbalances that are hard to maintain. The US Department of Energy recommends keeping your thermostat at 78˚F in the summer–the highest comfortable temperature that will minimize energy and cooling bills.

4.  Breathable materials – Your clothes obviously play a big role in how hot/cold you may be. In the summertime, it’s especially important to opt for breathable fabrics–cotton and linens–to stay cool. This applies not only to wearable garments, but also to your sheets and blankets. The lower the thread count, the more breathable the cotton is. Check out Good On You to find ethical producers of breathable clothing. 

5.  Install energy-efficient bulbs – Incandescent light bulbs generate a higher temperature than LED light bulbs. While changing bulbs might not create a massive temperature shift in your entire house, it will be very cost-effective and noticeable in smaller areas. Therefore, switch the bulbs in the areas you sit in most often for an observable difference in temperature. 

July 2023

Ecotourism is essentially traveling in a responsible manner to natural areas, which protects the integrity of ecosystems and promotes local communities, encouraging conservation.

So how can you take part in ecotourism? Here are some suggestions to get you started.

• Stay at local and eco-friendly accommodations – The average hotel generates 1 cubic yard of waste per room per month. Understandably, summertime is the high season for hotels. In order to reduce the carbon footprint your next hotel stay leaves, consider an ecolodge or eco-hotel! These environmentally mindful accommodations take careful measures to reduce carbon footprints, and can be easily found here! Additionally, supporting local hotels directs capital back to the local communities–which are often left degraded from the impacts of large franchises monopolizing tourist hotspots.

• Local attractions + ecotours – Visiting local attractions strengthen the surrounding communities and economies and can help you learn more about the area’s history. Ecotours are a prime example of a noninvasive local attraction–allowing you to explore the best spots while also returning profits back to the local community. 

• Active/public transportation – Active transportation such as biking, walking, and running are sustainable alternatives to traditional motorized transportation. Public transportation is also sustainable as it reduces carbon emissions, while also being cost-effective for most individuals. To find nearby public transit stops while traveling within the States, click here.  

• Admire from a distance – The only footprint you want to leave on your next travel destination is your literal one. With respect to nature and local communities, make sure to take a hands-off approach, protecting the local wildlife and environment. Even something as simple as a flower can have dangerous effects–being considered vandalism and sometimes even leading to the introduction of an invasive species.

• Ocean-friendly products – Most sun products–including lotions, oils, and sprays–have been reported to damage coral reefs. Coral reefs have some of the highest levels of biodiversity on the Earth–and their health is interlinked with most fish and marine organisms. Two chemicals common in sunscreen products, oxybenzone, and octinoxate, have been found to cause harm to coral reefs, in addition to many other chemicals. To make your next trip to the beach a more coral-conscious one, start by opting for better sunscreen. All in all, try to find alternatives to your products that are environmentally friendly and will not harm surrounding ecosystems. 

• Go where the locals go – Locals are typically able to suggest helpful advice and insight to tourists. If you are interested in learning more about local culture and connecting to communities, ask! In addition, visiting popular local attractions that locals recommend will allow you to expand your pre-existing knowledge of the location and value the special experience. 

For more ecotourism-related information, please visit the following sites:

June 2023

The Chesapeake Bay is one of the most significant factors in Maryland’s cultural and ecological identity–really, it’s what puts us on the map! The Chesapeake Bay is home to a variety of unique organisms, including the iconic blue crab, Eastern oyster, striped bass (also known as rockfish or striper), and Atlantic menhaden. Without the Bay, Maryland wouldn’t be where it is today- our economy and citizens depend on its vast resources. However, the Chesapeake Bay faces many threats, some of which include nutrient runoff, sediment pollution, and over-fishing. While the Bay has seen improvements in some of its health indicators, others remain stagnant or decreasing. We, as students of Maryland, have the responsibility to take the initiative and restore the Chesapeake Bay so we can keep enjoying its many benefits for years to come. To find out more about the health of the Bay, click here for information provided by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

What Can You Do?

• Organize a Stream clean-up  – As a watershed, the Chesapeake derives its waters from six states and DC. As a result, stream pollution that occurs upstream will end up in the Chesapeake Bay. Organize a stream clean-up with friends or family to help remove trash and other waste from our streams.

• Set up a compost bin – When we throw food away into a landfill, it can end up polluting both the air and water with harmful chemical compounds. Help prevent this from occurring by keeping a compost bin. You can read more about how to set up a personal compost bin here

• Natural weed killers – Weed killers and other pesticides wash off of vegetation and enter our waterways. Use environmentally friendly alternatives instead, such as vinegar or soapy water. Read more about natural pest and weed control here

• Volunteer with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation! – One of the most enjoyable and worthwhile ways to help the Chesapeake Bay is to give it some of your time–volunteer! Check out the links below to explore the many ways that you can engage in service with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.


Green Goals: Archives