Staying Green – By: Veronica Cortes (12)

If you have been paying attention to the news, you know that climate change is a pretty prevalent issue in today’s society. Some find the issue overwhelming and stressful whilst others don’t know much about it at all. Having the chance to be educated on such an important matter is the first step to helping the cause. 

About fifteen years ago Mr. Blevins started a group called the Conservation Club. He then invited Mr. Randall to take over, which is when he then changed the name to ‘The Green Team.’ This was a turning point for Grandville, “I believe that change is initiated by younger generations. We clearly need to change some of our ways, or environmental damage and destruction will continue. It’s important to have a Green Team at our school to provide an opportunity for students who are interested in the environment to connect with one another, learn together, and help to raise awareness about our impact on the environment,” states Mr. Randall. Over the years The Green Team has been able to get involved and make an impact not only in our school but in the city as well. Past member and former president of the Green Team, Katie Kaiser explains, “Of all the wonderful events I participated in with the Green Team, the most fulfilling for me would probably be planning a town hall meeting with a group called Sunrise Movement. The Green Team had connected me with this group to plan the meeting concerning The Green New Deal, but what I learned from this group was astronomical. I was bridged to very knowledgeable people and was able to learn from them, as well as producing a far-reaching event in my community that stretched beyond Grandville High School, which was a first for me.” 

Not only has The Green Team brought the students of Grandville High involvement outside Grandville, but it has also changed their day to day lives as well. “The impact you feel from an organization like the Green Team is solely dependent on how much you are willing to take from it. The Green Team covers and discusses a lot of real-world problems that can make you feel insignificantly small, and sometimes even hopeless. However, by being put into this position, it opens up room for growth. For me, the main impact I felt during this time of growth was my new knowledge and perspective of the issues we face as a society, and how I can contribute on a daily basis towards a solution to these issues. Today, I live more sustainably, and with greater conscience of the things that I do such as what I eat, how I travel, what I consume/purchase, and more. To me, that new conscience is my most valuable take-away,” describes past member Bennett Mejia. 

Over the past couple of years, more and more students have been participating in “green” activities. Many never knew about The Green Team until recently. New member Kaylee Scott says, “I never knew just how much The Green Team got involved in and I wish I would have taken this opportunity much sooner in my high school career.” The Green Team is open to all students and is very flexible with their schedule to make sure those who want to get involved have that opportunity. As new member Cristina Cortes states, “The more people we get to help clean our planet, the better life is for everybody.” Interested students who are ready to help make a difference can join The Green Team by simply shooting Mr. Randall an email and letting him know so they can be notified the next time a meeting is scheduled. 

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