When I woke this morning, poured my cup of coffee and sat down to the local paper, I was surprised to find this story and photo! Malory amazes me every single day...I hate to see her leave for college, but I am sooooo excited for her.
By Jennifer Nitson
SCOBEL WIGGINS Gazette-Times
Heather Bishop, Malory Peterson, L.J. Wilson and Chelsea Whipple figure out how they will present their conservation information at the faculty staff meeting this week.
Class shows students their choices can make a difference
When Malory Peterson signed up for the new economics of conscious consumption class at Corvallis High School this fall, she was not optimistic about her ability to make a difference.
But in just four months her perspective has changed. Though she has learned about the serious threat posed by global warming, she has also learned a number of ways to be proactive for change.
“One of the biggest things I’ve taken from this class is the positive environmental mindset rather than the negative,” Peterson said. “I came in with a very pessimistic view. I thought it’s kind of hopeless, that there wasn’t anything I could do at 17.”
Now the CHS senior believes that the choices she makes every day can both affect the environment and serve as an example to others. Choosing wisely what to buy and consume can have a positive effect on a person’s lifestyle, she added.
“It doesn’t have to be a sacrifice,” she said. “It’s easier than you think it is.”
Julie Williams, a 21-year physical education teacher at CHS, decided to teach the economics of conscious consumption class as she worked to incorporate practices of recycling and sustainable living into her own life.
“What I found was my generation was removing any option for this generation to affect their future,” Williams said. “I wanted to give them a chance to alter the course.”
In the class Williams asks students: “How can we as individuals affect the world economy?”
The course looks at how people consume energy, space and resources. After studying global economics and energy expenditures, the 35 students in Williams’ class explored real-world ways to reduce consumption and waste. In small groups of two to eight, the students are working on projects that will directly impact the high school and Corvallis.
One project endeavors to help Corvallis become a “greener” city by putting solar panels on the roof of the CHS gym. According to the students’ research, this could save the high school up to $9,000 a year in energy costs and reduce carbon emissions from traditional sources of electricity generation.
One group is spearheading an effort to increase recycling at the school, with more bins for glass, paper products and plastics to be placed around the school and informational signs and posters telling where, how and what to recycle.
“We’re trying to make it more accessible to students,” said senior Brandi Nolan.
Another project has students putting together a pamphlet for Corvallis residents with information on sustainable living choices. The booklet will include sections on where to recycle items such as tennis shoes, batteries, plastic bags and appliances, as well as tips about sustainable practices for all facets of daily life — from cleaning to dining to home heating.
Other groups are working to create an electronics recycling drop-off center, discourage the use of non-recyclable plastics and establish a food-waste composting program for the CHS cafeteria.
The students will launch an awareness campaign Monday at CHS — with posters, flyers and announcements to promote student participation in the various projects.
“We as a class are trying to make a difference in the school and make a difference in the community, and do what we can do as a class to make a difference right now,” said senior L.J. Wilson.