Third Place


G etting green and staying green is a challenge that most of the world is facing including us. What can we do as students at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School to make our everyday activities more eco-friendly? At the core of any change is individual change. We must take each step ourselves before we ask others to follow in our steps. We can start out very simply by recycling, reusing and being efficient. Starting small, hopefully, we can use the thought of trickle down and affect the greater population.

Here are 10 ways to start by helping your home and community.

One, recycle. It is one of the easiest ways to do your part for the earth. All you need to do is set up a second trash can inside or outside of your home and throw away all recyclable materials in the designated can. And you can make money.

Two, reuse plastic or glass bottles. Every day we throw away large amounts of waste, which we could reuse in order to reduce waste and cut costs. Three, be efficient. There are several simple ways to conserve energy. Turn off all household items like lights, televisions, radios, computers, etc. when you are not using them.

Four, start walking. Help save gas and conserve our natural resources, save money, preserve air quality and make the healthy and environmentally friendly choice to walk when you can.

Five, reduce how long you run the water because at this point it all counts. When you brush your teeth, turn off the water while brushing, and take shorter showers. Six, start a garden and grow all your own vegetables and herbs to reduce pesticide use. Seven, ventilate and save energy by not using the air conditioning in the summer. You may be benefitting yourself but you are hurting the environment. In the winter keep your heat at a constant temperature and bundle up.

Eight, use environmentally friendly cleaners such as lemon juice, soda crystals and a bicarbonate of soda water to get taps sparkling, dissolve grease and remove stains on work surfaces. Nine, get connected. Join groups and organizations that will help you get more involved, like the Island Grown Initiative, South Mountain Co. and Eco-MV.

Ten, brainstorm with your family to come up with ideas. We have to start somewhere even if we start small.

Going green may seem hard to do, but if you just tweak your lifestyle a little bit, it really isn’t that bad. Also, before we ask our peers, coworkers and friends to change, we have to change ourselves. If we just start small and make those easy changes, then we are on the way to trickling down and spreading our influence to the rest of the community, nation and even world.