A few weeks ago, Sustainable Saratoga’s Zero Waste Committee spent some time at Saratoga Springs High School with Master Teacher, Jody Visconti and her Environmental Studies students. In particular, Margie Shepard, Wendy Mahaney, Bill Boehmke, and Michael Cohen talked with the students about our work, which is directly related to addressing local sustainability issues. We invited them, and their families, to join Sustainable Saratoga at our Tree Toga event on April 28th as tree planters or tree hosts (Saratoga Springs’ residents can get a free tree planted along the street in front of their house).

We were excited to find that the students have been working diligently to research and help to address such environmental issues through local sustainability initiatives. In order to offer constructive feedback as these students move forward with these research projects, members of our team met with students in small focus groups to discuss their various ideas. All of the student groups we met with have some very creative and interesting projects. One group is interested in finding new ways to use gray water for toilet plumbing, rather than fresh water in their public restrooms. Another set of students is examining ways to reduce excess waste in the cafeteria, including eliminating single-use Styrofoam trays and plastic utensils. Additionally, another group of students are exploring and campaigning for a large-scale composting program at their school. Some students are discussing solutions related to reducing energy consumption, and are researching the potential conversion to electric-powered buses, as well as switching to more energy efficient lighting systems throughout the school.

Ultimately, our team was so excited to see that the younger generation is actively thinking about a variety of sustainability issues. We were certainly encouraged to know that these students continue to look for new ways to tackle such challenging problems. We can’t wait to see what they do next!