Green Goals

2018-2019

 

March Green Goals

Hello, student leaders! Water is essential to life as we know it. It is such an integral factor of the life cycle that it is the first thing researchers check for when trying to find life in space. Despite the fact that about 70% of the world is covered in water, only about 2.5% of it is fresh, and only 1% of that is easily accessible. Therefore, as student leaders and members of our global community, we need to be mindful about water pollution and water scarcity. Many of us are lucky enough to have access to clean water, but 844 million people lack even a basic drinking-water service according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Here are just a few simple ways that you can combat this water crisis in your everyday life:

 

  • Dispose of substances correctly. Most people don’t think of what happens when they dispose of things. They seem to just disappear. However, we need to be cognizant of how we dispose of chemicals, fat, oil, grease, and medications. These substances can enter our waterways and accumulate harming the environment and contaminate water sources.

  • Minimize use of fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and road salts. These chemicals can runoff into sewage systems and bodies of water wreaking havoc on nearby aquatic ecosystems by causing eutrophication, which is oxygen depletion, in water caused by excessive plant growth from the chemicals. Additionally, road salts that are very commonly used during the winter months can runoff into waterways and increase the water salinity above a livable range for organisms.

 

  • Conserve water. By conserving water, you can save money and help the environment at the same time. This can be done by waiting until you have a full load to run the washing machine or the dishwasher. You can also switch to low-flow fixtures which are typically 20% more water efficient.

  • Use environmentally-friendly soaps. Typical soaps tend to use harsh chemicals that build up in the environment. The next time you buy soap, try to check for more sustainable ingredients, such as soybean oil or shea butter, or pick up soaps that are marketed as eco-friendly.

  • Plant vegetation. While this may seem like an unlikely solution, plants, especially trees, help to reduce erosion and runoff of chemicals that may harm our waterways. When you have the chance, especially those of you that live near bodies of water, consider planting trees, grasses, bushes, flowers, and other types of vegetation.

 

 

Instagram: @md.stuco         Twitter: @MDStuCo

 

February Green Goals

Hello student leaders! As you all may know, our Earth happens to just be at the sweet spot in our solar system to support life. We are fortunate enough to enjoy the biodiversity the Earth brings because of this. However, our biodiversity is rapidly declining as you are reading this due to things like extinction, climate change, hunting, habitat loss, and more. All of these issues are driven by human activity.  Humans have caused this, and humans can fix this, but we only have so much time to do so. As student leaders we must get involved as much as possible because this is the world that we will spend the rest of our lives on. This is the world that our children will live in. The following ideas are only some things that we can do.

  1. Advocate for legislation that will help to promote and preserve biodiversity. Any bill that reduces pollution or supports the protection of habitats can be major steps to helping the environment from the legal side of things. Other activities such as starting petitions to support your local wildlife and habitats or supporting candidates that make the environment a priority are a huge help.
  2. Donate to organizations that help to promote biodiversity such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
  3. Restore habitats in your community by planting trees, reducing pesticide and inorganic fertilizer use, creating bird boxes, and more.
  4. Buy organic, local foods that are made with less chemicals and don’t require very much shipping helps to reduce pollution. It also helps to promote the health of the environment and people. When the environment is happy and healthy, people are, too.
  5. Reduce, reuse, recycle. The three R’s we all learned in elementary school are still very important to help preserve our planet. We must first reduce our consumption and waste creation. If it is prevented and never made in the first place, it doesn’t have to be managed. Then, you must reuse as much as possible such as reusing old candle jars as cute containers around the house instead of throwing them away. This is a great chance to DIY and be creative! Finally, recycle whatever is left!

Instagram: @md.stuco         Twitter: @MDStuCo

 

January Green Goals

Happy New Year MASC! Many people often use this time of year as motivation to get fit and reduce their waistline, but we should also keep in mind the environment. Let’s start off the new year with environmentally conscience resolutions. One thing to keep in mind is waste. Most people produce 4.4 ounces of waste per day which adds up in the long run!

Here are some minor adjustments that you can add to your daily routine to reduce your “wasteline”:

  1. Use glass or stainless containers for bringing your lunch to school. These containers are reusable which reduces the amount of waste that we create. Additionally, using Tupperware is handy but when they are heated in the microwave the plastic can get onto the food. Also, food does not leave stains on the container after use.
  2. Switch to reusable water bottles. It’s important to stay hydrated, but be sure that you aren’t using a new plastic water bottle each day. These water bottles take approximately 450 years to decompose, and they definitely add up. To reduce all this plastic waste, forgo the plastic water bottles and invest in a nice reusable bottle. As a bonus, they can even insulate your water keeping it nice and cool throughout the day!
  3. Go digital. In our beautiful 21st century, we have a world of technology to take advantage of! These days, we can conserve paper by digitizing some of our activities. This can include taking notes on a word document or making grocery lists on your phone.
  4. Use towels. Instead of paper towels or napkins that need to be discarded after each use, try to utilize towels or rags as much as possible because they can just be thrown in the washer as opposed to being thrown away.
  5. Donate. Items you may not want to use any more such as CDs, furniture, and clothes, can be given to others who may need them. You can give back and be environmentally-friendly at the same time. It’s a win-win situation. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
  6. Trade in old electronic devices.  You can turn them in for money instead of throwing them away at Best Buy. You can reduce waste and earn money simultaneously! (Best Buy also gives $2 coupons for every ink cartridge that you recycle with them.)

These are only some ideas to get you started on reducing your “wasteline” and helping out the environment! Feel free to try anything else in the new year to get you started on a more environmentally-friendly path!

Post your new resolutions Instagram or Twitter and tag MASC!

Instagram: @md.stuco         Twitter: @MDStuCo

December Green Goals

Hello, student leaders of MASC! Global warming is the Earth’s overall rise in temperature over the years which affects so much of our daily lives and our futures. Due to this, sea levels have been rising. This could result in parts of Florida being underwater! This is only one detrimental consequence of global warming. However, there are so many more consequences that will especially affect younger generations. As student leaders that will ultimately live in a world impacted by global warming, we need to do our best to help reduce it as much as we can now.

  1. Invest in renewable products.
  2. Carpool or take public transportation! It’s an easy way to decrease the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
  3. Change your thermostat settings. If you turn it up two in the summer and down two in the winter, it can save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide!
  4. Make sure your tires are inflated properly. If not, tons of carbon dioxide are released, increasing greenhouse gases.

Educate your friends and get them involved with trying to save our beautiful planet!

Instagram: @md.stuco         Twitter: @MDStuCo

November Green Goals

Hello, student leaders! This month we are going to discuss ways we can give thanks to our lovely environment. November is a month of giving thanks, so it’s the perfect time to give back to the Earth. There are so many little things that it gives us that we may just take for granted, such as beautiful flowers that we see each day. To give thanks, let’s cut back on our environmentally harmful ways.

Ways to Give Back

• Cut back on plastic baggies and plastic bottles! Using these plastics may seem very convenient, but reusable container/bottles are an easy alternative that will save you money in the long run. It takes plastic waste 450 to even 1000 years to decompose.

• Buy locally grown foods! With all the food you are going to be eating this Thanksgiving season, be sure that you do your best to obtain food that is grown in your area. Most of the food in America travels 1,500 miles to reach your dinner table! Packaging and shipping food contributes to increased levels of pollution.

• Plant Trees! Deforestation negatively impacts various habitats and ecosystems. This also affects climate change since there are fewer forests, more greenhouse gases are in the atmosphere. For info on how to start a reforestation project check out this link https://www.pfla.bc.ca/forest-management-tips/from-planning-to-planting-reforestation-basics-for-forest-owners/

• Advocate for our planet! Get involved with an environmental movement. Zero Hour is a youth-led movement that advocates for climate change solutions. Simply go to this link to join http://thisiszerohour.org/


These are only a few ways that you can show your gratitude for the environment this month! Try to do something different each week to show your love for all the Earth has given us. If you have more ideas on how to show gratitude or if you’d like to show us how you’re completing this month’s goal, post on Instagram or Twitter and tag MASC!

Instagram: @md.stuco         Twitter: @MDStuCo

October Green Goals

Imagine a world in which no one cares about the environment. Trash and waste cover the streets. Thousands of species of beautiful plants and animals have gone extinct. Future children will only ever see a tiger in their dreams or in stories. People will have to wear masks to breathe the heavily polluted air. Trying to swim at the beach isn’t even considered a fun hobby anymore, not with all of the plastic blanketing the shore and filling the waters. Is this the world that we want to live in?

There is so much that can be done each and every day to avoid this nightmare. Being environmentally friendly does not have to be such a struggle. There are easy ways to help without going out of the way. It’s spooky season, but let the terror come from the ghouls of the night, not from disregarding the environment.

• Throw bottle caps away!

Unless stated otherwise, bottle caps are typically non-recyclable, so be sure to leave them out!

• Learn the Resin Codes for Recycling!

The resin codes are important because it lets you know if the plastic is recyclable since some plastics are not. Resin code 7 is not recyclable.

• Get out there and vote!

While many of us are below the legal voting age, you can still register to vote! You can also always encourage those in your life who can vote to do so. Voting on these environmental issues is a great way to make a difference.

• Volunteer!

There are many so many organizations that have opportunities to volunteer to help the environment. This may include planting trees, cleaning up litter, educating young children about the environment, and so much more! As people who live on the earth, we all have an obligation to make sure that it’s as healthy as possible.

• Reduce your waste production!

Reduce is the first of the “three R’s” and is the most important. If there is less waste and pollution in the first place, then there is less to worry about. Do your best to use reusable items daily instead of single-use items that will simply end up in landfills. On average, Americans produce a staggering four pounds of waste per person per day. The smaller that number is, the better.

September Green Goals

Hello, student leaders! Imagine a world without litter. Imagine a world where people work together each day to make the world a happier and healthier place. That world you’re imagining right now is the goal of the cleanup movement called Let’s Do It!.  It all began ten years ago when thousands of citizens in Estonia came out to help make their country a cleaner place. This has spread globally and has led to another World Cleanup Day on September 15th of this year, and we wanted to honor that in this month’s green goal. Be part of the movement that embraces using cooperation to make the world a cleaner and healthier place.

To get involved…

  1. Go to https://www.worldcleanupday.org for more info on the event and to donate.
  2. Create a service project in honor of the day. Take your SGA out and clean up the litter around school.
  3. Spread the word to your fellow peers. Help them join the movement.
  4. Post on social media about World Cleanup Day. Make the movement even bigger!
  5. Download the World Cleanup App to join an event in your area or start your own!!

Be sure to tag @md.stuco on Instagram or @MDStuCo on Twitter when you post you doing these goals.

August Green Goals

Hello, fellow student leaders! August 18th is National Honeybee Day. These bees are dwindling at an alarming rate due to a variety of factors including pesticides, habitat loss, poor nutrition, and more. Cases of Colony Collapse Disorder have decreased in recent years but more still needs to be done to make sure that honeybees survive. Use the following goals as a starting and a guide in being proactive toward this issue. Bees are very important to our everyday lives from the pollination of plants that we depend on to the creation of the honey that makes our lives sweeter.

What to do from Home

  • Plant flowers of the colors violet, blue, purple, yellow and white. These colors are attractive to their eyes.
  • Install a home for the bees. Order one online or do it yourself. Just by drilling various sizes and amounts of holes in trees (dead and still standing) can give them space to nest in these holes. If you’d like to build your own, check out this link https://www.nwf.org/en/Garden-for-Wildlife/Young/Build-a-Bee-House.

Sponsor a hive! You can help increase the number of hives by sponsoring them. Check out https://thehoneybeeconservancy.org/sponsor-a-hive/ for more information on how to get started.

2017-2018

May Green Goals

Hello fellow student leaders! As the year wraps up, let’s reflect on some of the ways we can continue to be environmentally friendly throughout the summer. Let’s finish off strong with our last green goals of the year.

  1. Ditch the car and take a walk or ride a bike. In D.C. you can rent a bike for a few hours. It is an easy way to stay fit and decrease the amount of gas emissions.
  2. Use a non-toxic sunscreen. It keeps your skin and the environment safe.
  3. Unplug from your devices and take advantage of the beautiful weather.
  4. Do chores such as laundry, vacuuming, and running the dishwasher at night. It saves money and keeps your home cooler. Doing these during the day increases the humidity in your home.
  5. Before you travel, turn off the thermostat and all electricity in the house.

*Tweet or tag @mdstuco a picture when participating in Earth Day

April Green Goals

Happy April everyone! Earth Day is this month on April 22nd. People from all over the world have celebrated this day since 1970. Various events are held to show support for environmental protection. This month’s green goals will include activities to do on your own or with a few friends to benefit the environment. Go out and show your support for environmental protection.

  1. This year’s Earth Day theme is “End Plastic Pollution.” Visit www.earthday.org to sign up and learn more about how you can contribute to the cause.
  2. Take initiative. Speak with clubs or organizations at your schools to ask what they are doing on Earth Day. If they are not planning anything, take action!
  3. The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is partnering with the UDC Garden Club and the Environmental Sustainability Leadership Club to host an on-campus Earth Day celebration event. This will take place on April 19, 2018, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  4. Educate yourself on how you can better the environment. Kick back and turn on a documentary on Netflix such as A Plastic Ocean or Chasing Coral.
  5. Find yourself lost and undecided for what to do on Earth Day? Check out EventBrite.com which displays a list of all activities and events on Earth Day. Find one you like, bring a friend, and make a difference!
  6. Looking to Advocate for your environment? Attend the March For Science that will be held on April 14, 2018 in Washington, D.C. at the National Mall. Check out https://www.marchforscience.com/dc2018 for more information about this great event.
  7. Grab some friends and go clean up the areas around you. Take a trash bag and some gloves and go around and pick up trash. Then, dispose of collected items properly via recycling bin or trash can. If you are willing to go the extra mile make a compost with what you find  that is compostable.
  8. The caps on water bottles are not recyclable; please throw them into the trash. Plastic bags must be clean, dry and empty before they are recycled.

*Tweet or tag @mdstuco a picture when participating in Earth Day

March Green Goals

Happy March, student leaders of Maryland! The universal World Water Day is held this month, on March 22nd. The United Nations’ dedicated this day to increase people’s awareness of water’s importance in the environment, agriculture, health and trade. This day shines light on how crucial water is to our day to day lives and how privileged we are in the United States to have an abundant source of clean water. In tribute to countries around the world without a source of clean water, we dedicate this month’s green goals to water conservation.

Do not flush things down the toilet that can be easily thrown in the trash. Each flush is usually about 3.5 gallons – that can add up quickly!

Put a water bottle with a few pebbles in the tank of your toilet. This saves up to 10 gallons of toilet water a day.

When using a dishwasher, refrain from pre-rinsing. Scrap leftover and then put it in the dishwasher.

Instead of using the garbage disposal, make a compost with some of your food waste.

Wash your clothes in cold water. An added bonus- it saves money!

Only do laundry or dishes when you have a full load. We need to be as efficient as possible.

*Tweet or tag @mdstuco a picture when doing these

February 2018

Welcome to February student leaders. The past few months we’ve focused on reusability and sustainability, but now it’s time to target reducing our ecological footprint as a whole. Little changes in our day to day lives can have an immense impact on restoring water and air quality. We’ve composed a five-step process to achieving an earth-friendly lifestyle!

Step 1 – Start the morning right with a hot cup of coffee or water. When doing so, ditch the plastic or paper cups. Invest in a coffee tumbler or reusable water bottle. This easy change in habit goes a long way in reducing waste.

Step 2 – Driving to school can be boring. Pick up a friend! Not only is it earth-friendly, you also have a friend to talk to on your way to school. Carpooling is the best way to reduce gas emission from transportation.

Step 3 –  When you have arrived at school, you may notice that many of your classmates are not as awake as you. Encourage your classmates to take an ecological footprint calculator and research the ways they can reduce it.

Step 4 – After dinner, you may have dishes to wash. The average dishwasher uses 6 gallons per wash. It is imperative to run only full loads in your dishwasher or hand wash your dishes!

Step 5 – You’ve arrived at your home. It’s time to start winding down. Before hitting the bed, lower the thermostat. Bundle up to stay warm, and sleep well knowing that you’re making a difference in saving the world.

*Tweet or tag @mdstuco a picture when doing these

January 2018 

Hello fellow student leaders, we hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing Winter Break and New Year! With 2018 coming along, New Year’s resolutions are made. The New Year is a great way to say goodbye to your non-environmentally friendly habits; so let 2018 be full of a new environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Leave plastic water bottles in 2017, grab a reusable bottle which can save a lot of money and they are BPA free (BPA is a chemical used in plastic bottles which can be harmful to your health and the environment).

Use less water. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and only use the dishwasher if it’s completely full of dishes.

Carpool to events, having multiple cars going to the same location gives off a lot of vehicle emissions that are very disastrous for the environment. (Especially for MASC events that are far away)

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Do not forget the three R’s; they are very important. There are multiple things you can do on a daily basis such as recycling paper or reusing containers.

New year, New you? Try upcycling, a cheap alternative to buying new clothes all the time. This is a great way to add something new to your style. Start 2018 with a new style.

Be green at your school. Join or start a green club at your school to make it a more environmentally friendly. Looks great on a resume, too.

Sell or donate used textbooks from the last semester. You never know who could need it.

*Tweet or tag @mdstuco a picture when doing one of these items!

December 2017 

Hello everyone! We hope you had a great Thanksgiving, but sadly we are now back to our busy school day lives. With that said, we all create a lot of waste in and out of school. One person makes 4.6 pounds of waste every day. Americans produce 251,000,000 pounds of waste a year. As student leaders, we all need to be cautious about our human footprint. Human footprints are the impacts of everyday activities towards the world (such as taking a shower or eating breakfast). These activities can either be positive or negative which is why we need to make sure that we pay attention to how our actions can affect the environment.

1. Make a compost basket – throw in soil, a few twigs, compostable materials, and keep it moist with water. Organic Farming!
2. Use Mason Jars or Reusable Containers instead of one time containers
3. Recycle your old electronic devices properly as incorrectly decomposed electronics emit radioactivity and carbon dioxide
4. Repurpose items in your home. Take an old bookcase, add some color, and now you’ve revamped your old boring case.

*Tweet or tag @mdstuco a picture when doing these!

November 2017 

Happy November fellow student leaders! November is the month of food. This month is Good Nutrition Month, American Diabetes Awareness Month, National Peanut Butter Lovers Month, and Thanksgiving. But throughout all our good eats, we need to be a little more cognizant in how the food we eat impacts the environment. And remember, eat well, but eat mindfully!

Water Bottles

1. In the United States, bottled water costs between $0.25 and $2 per bottle while tap water costs less than a penny.
2. The manufacturing of plastic pollutes air, land and water, while exposing workers to toxic chemicals.
3. Plastic is NOT biodegradable and takes up to 1,000 years to decompose.
4. This month do not buy or use any plastic water bottle. Instead, buy a reusable water bottle. You may even start to love it so much you will never want to go back to plastic water bottles!

Food Waste
• Approximately 1.3 billion tons of food gets lost or wasted each year.
• Fruits, vegetables, roots, and tubers have the highest wastage rates of all foods.
• Shop realistically and be sure to check expiration dates.
• Make sure to eat those Thanksgiving dinner leftovers.

Organic Food
• Organic food production eliminates soil and water contamination, conserves biodiversity, fights against global warming, and reduces the use of pesticides and fertilizers.
• This month go to an organic food store in your area once a week to buy essential groceries. Although it may be costly, the cost of saving our planet is important!

*While doing these goals, post on social media and tag us @MDSTUCO

October 2017 

Hello fellow leaders! MASC hopes you all are enjoying the beginning of the school year. This month we will discuss the decline of the bee population. One out of three bites of food you eat daily is pollinated by bees. In other words, a third of all the food we produce depends on pollination! Bees and other pollinating insects play an essential role in ecosystems. However, since the late 1990s, the bee population has been in a high rate of decline. In fact, Maryland ranks as one of the highest rates of bee decline in the U.S. It is urgent that the student leaders of Maryland take a stand to help. Here are a few ways you can help, remember even the smallest actions can make a difference.

1) Plant different flowers and herbs for the bees to pollinate. Also, make sure that the plants are bee friendly.
2) Bees get thirsty after pollinating native plants so place a basin of water with a few pebbles inside of it to help them quench their thirst.
3) Do not weed your garden, the weeds are food for the bees.
4) Don’t use harmful pesticides to treat lawns.
5) Online forms of advocacy and change making! http://www.queenofthesun.com/get-involved/push-for-policy-change/  (MASC is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of this outside website.)

Maryland is over 60%

 

September 2017 

Hello fellow student leaders, the school year has begun and we want to share with you all the ways we can be environmentally-friendly this school year. Please share these tips with peers to spread the word. As leaders, it is crucial to be eco-friendly in order to take care of our environment. Everyone makes mistakes and these are easy fixes to everyday recycling matters. Remember, little acts of recycling can have a huge impact. So let’s jump right into the Green Goals of the Month.

Reduce Waste
1. If possible take notes on an electronic device while in class to save paper.
2. Use a reusable water bottle.
3. Use a mug or insulated water bottle for drinks with preferred temperatures.
4. Use eco-friendly school supplies because many ingredients in common supplies are harmful to the environment such as PVC (made with dangerous chemicals) which are in common stationery items.
5. Pack a no garbage lunch, using Tupperware and other reusable utensils.

Recycling
1. The caps on water bottles are not recyclable; please throw them in the trash.
2. Pizza boxes cannot be recycled because the grease contaminates the box. In most cases, you can recycle the top if not contaminated by grease.
3. Do not recycle Styrofoam in your recycling bin; find a drop site specifically for Styrofoam
4. Plastic bags must be clean, dry and empty before they are recycled.
5. Milk and Juice cartons are to be recycled.

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2015-2016

Overview of the Year’s Green Goals: GreenGoalsoftheYEAR

April 2016 

Hello all! We hope everyone is as excited for convention as we are! Since there is so much going on this month with elections, convention, and preparing for AP tests, there is only one green goal of the month!

Earth Day celebration! April 22 is Earth Day! The best day of the year! Convince your science class to have a small class party celebrating our Earth! Get the students from your school to wear blue and green and take a huge class picture! In any way that you can, make sure people know about Earth Day.

  • In addition to this green goal, everyone is encouraged to be as eco-friendly as possible at the convention! Make sure all of your delegations are aware of the recycling bins placed throughout the hotel and remind them to turn the lights off in their rooms when they are not in use!

  • Have a great day and we will see you at the convention!

    March 2016 

    Hello everyone and Happy March! We hope everyone is enjoying the school year! March is the perfect month to begin saving our Earth so listen closely.  The green goals we have previously given you this year may have seemed small, but hopefully they have been effective! Butttttttttt, we think it’s time to step it up with our March theme of Environmental Restoration.

    1. Get together with some friends and go clean up a park, stream, sports complex, anything! There has to be a place in your community that comes to mind when you think of litter. Get some friends together, go out to lunch, and then go have a day of clean up! It can be a lot more fun than you think and you can talk to a teacher in your school about getting service learning hours for it!

    2. Plant native trees in your area that you think could use some more green. Sometimes there are places that just need a little tree to brighten up the scenery. This is another activity that can be done with a group of friends and made into a super fun day!

    3. Promote the use of waste bins in your community where litter is evident. Although cleaning up the park is a great first step, there’s no use in stopping there! Talk to the adult leaders in your area about setting up waste bins in the park or increasing the amount of them around the soccer fields/wherever it’s needed most.

    These green goals require a little more of your time but the impact you can have on your community and the planet is huge. We know you guys can handle it. Someone could see you and your friends out restoring your community and be completely inspired to do the same thing! Remember to have fun with it and as always, send us pictures!

    February 2016 

    Hello all! We hope you are enjoying the snow and the snow days that come with it. What better way to spend a day off from school than making your life greener?! Yeah we can’t think of any. Well good news because the February Green Goals are here to help you out. The theme for February is……. RAISING AWARENESS!!! We know that all of you amazing people having been hearing about how to help the environment over the past few months, but what about the other people in your schools, families, and communities? Here’s a few ideas:

    1. Put an announcement on the morning announcements that will promote green living to the students at your school. Make it catchy so it will grab students’ attention! There may be someone looking for an opportunity to help and just not sure where to go with their big ideas!

    2. Teach an environmental workshop at your next general assembly. It doesn’t have to be long. Taking a few minutes to educate students on the environmental impact that they have on the world and give them a few tips of ways they can help (HINT: previous green goals work for great tips).

    3. Read your local paper for a week and educate yourself about the environmental issues occurring in your local area.  There may be something you can do in your area that will make an amazing difference and you could have no idea!

    4. Start a green organization or eco-club at your school if there aren’t any already. It only takes a few people and an adult who is willing to supervise! Your small club could grow to be extremely influential in your school.

    Thank you for giving us the last several minutes of your life to read this amazing email. REMEMBER: We want pictures of you participating! We hope you have fun participating and make your own lives a little bit greener!

    January 2016 

    Hello everyone and Happy New Year! We hope you all had a fantastic holiday season and are ready for a great year ahead! Looking for that perfect New Years Resolution? How about doing your part to save the Earth! And we have ideas on just how you can do it. The theme for the January Green Goals is Over-consumption and Waste. Sounds fascinating, we know. Here’s how you can help:

    1. Pack a waste free lunch. Yeah it might be easy to pack a brown paper bag lunch and then just throw away all of the bags when you’re done but where does all that trash go? INTO THE EARTH! Taking a lunch box and using containers instead of bags is a great solution! It might be just a little bit more work but the effect it can have is enormous!

    2.  Plan your meals to ensure that you are not buying food that will end up going to waste. Also use reusable grocery bags when buying your items. It can be so easy to walk through the isles of the market and pick up a huge amount of appealing items that end up sitting in your pantry until they expire. Try planning out your meals for the week and only buying the amount of food you will need. Of course you can buy all of the cookies you want, but don’t buy a new box when there’s already one sitting in the back of the drawer. Also remember to use reusable grocery bags when shopping for your items!

    3.  Donate unwanted clothing, furniture, and other household items to a second hand store instead of  forcing them to end up in a landfill.  Cleaning out your closet or the pile of clutter in your attic is never a fun job, and it’s easy to just throw all of your unwanted items into the trash. DON’T DO IT. You don’t want all of that stuff to end up in the landfill especially when it could go towards helping a family in need.

    As always feel free to send us pictures of you and your friends participating in the green goals! We hope that you have a great start to your year and a great time going green!

    December 2015

    We hope you are all enjoying the holiday season and are ready for all that it brings. And what better gift to give than helping out the world! The theme for the December green goals is…… RECYCLING! Even though recycling is a common practice in many homes, it is important to keep this up through the holidays especially at big family dinners! Here’s a few things you can try if you feel you’re ready to take your recycling game to the next level.

    1. If you are not already doing so in your home, start recycling bottles, cans, cardboard, and newspapers. If you recycle one or two of those, try taking on another! Large cardboard boxes that you may have laying around work as great bins to keep your recyclable items in! Don’t forget to recycle gift wrapping paper too!

    2. Create a recycled art project. Need something to do on a snow day? Make a recycled art project that can be used as the centerpiece to your holiday dinner or a gift for your amazing mom. Pinterest is a great place for some creative ideas- just look up “art projects with recycled materials” and you’ll find a ton! Think outside of the box and make sure to send us pictures of your fabulous creations!

    October 2015

    1. Take a “Navy Shower” During a “Navy Shower” you turn the water off to lather and then turn it back on to rinse off. You can also time your showers and set personal goals to cut down and reduce the amount of time the water is running.

    2. Turn off water while brushing your teeth. Just like during a shower, you aren’t using the running water during the whole process that you brush your teeth. Leaving the water off while brushing and then turning it on at the end to rinse is a simple way to save!

    3. Save the water that is wasted while waiting for the shower to heat up. This one is a little tricky and takes some commitment. Nobody likes getting in the shower until the water is the perfect temperature, but think of how much water is going straight down the drain while you wait! Gathering the water in tubs or containers will provide you with a stockpile of water that you can use for watering plants, tending to your garden, and other household uses.

    September 2015  

    1. Unplug phone chargers and other unnecessary appliances from walls during the day. It’s a very simple concept: unplugging your phone charger or bed lamp or nightlight from your wall before you go to school. However, it will decrease your electrical usage, conserving the amount of energy being released, ultimately making the Earth happier
    2. Challenge your family and friends to energy baseball. Those of you who have attended a Chesapeake Bay Foundation program are familiar with the “Energy Baseball” game. Basically, if you see a light on in a vacant room, you scream “LIGHT” or whatever fun word you decide, and it then becomes a race to turn it off. In your home, you can do kids vs. parents. If the kids leave a light on and the parents are the first to turn it off, the kids receive a strike, just like baseball. You can come up with a consequence for getting 3 strikes and really get competitive! This is a great way to make something as simple as remembering to turn off a light, an everyday habit.
    3. Encourage teachers to have class without lights. So I know you are not all as privileged as I am to attend the great Allegany High School, so I will now tell you a short story. Wayyyy up in Allegany County sits the wonderful, old, falling apart, Allegany High School. This one of a kind school features broken windows, broken heaters, and yes, only several air conditioners that are for the most part also broken. Since temperatures reach a refreshing 90 degrees in this poorly ventilated school on a daily basis in the warm months, most classes take place without lights on as an effort to keep the room as cool as possible.  Although this is not the case in other schools, turning the lights off for class is an easy way to bring these environmental challenges to your school! Also don’t forget about turning out lights when classrooms are not in use.