It’s Easy Being Green

How to keep Aquinas – and our world – environmentally friendly.


Sophia Meyer

Don’t leave trash behind the football stadium!

Sophia Meyer, Reporter

It is no secret that climate change is on the rise, putting the future of our green planet in danger. As environmental concerns heighten, let’s take a look into what Saint Thomas Aquinas High School has accomplished to make the school eco-friendly and what students can further contribute to keep the school – and earth – clean and green. 

One of Aquinas’ most recent energy-conservation projects was replacing the school’s lighting system. President Brian Schenck states that “We have moved to LED lights, especially after the difficult halogen lights in the gym.” LED lights are safer and more energy efficient than halogen bulbs, which emit large amounts of heat and therefore consume excessive amounts of energy. All of the main-floor lights were also replaced with safer LED lights. 

Recycling bins located in the Auxiliary Gym hallway.

As for recycling, Aquinas is very active in this realm. The paper, plastic, and cardboard collections are ways that students and faculty can play their part in keeping the school green. However, in order to be effective, it has to be done correctly. Each classroom should have at least one blue recycling bin and one trash can. Rather than taking the recycling bins to the trash cans outside as it has been done in previous years, empty the blue bins into the new recycling bins located in the hallway near the Auxiliary Gym.

The most important thing to note, claims Aquinas teacher and recycling coordinator Terry Droge, “Is knowing how to separate trash and recycling.” The items allowed in the recycling bins are cardboard, paper, aluminum cans, glass bottles, and plastic items. Anything that can be potentially repurposed should go in the recycling bins. Everything else – food wrappers, plastic bags, general garbage – should make its way to the trash bin. By following recycling guidelines, our community can ensure that Aquinas is properly caring for the environment.  

Juniors Katie Stegeman and Suzanne Loomis pose with their reusable water bottles.

There are many small actions that can have a positive effect on the environment. Simply turning off the car’s ignition in the parking lot can help eliminate the amount of fossil fuels in the atmosphere. Donating, thrifting, and throwing away used clothes minimizes the carbon footprint and manufacturing effects. Not littering behind the bleachers at football games is even a significant step. No effort is too small when it comes to saving the planet. Whether it be looking to install solar panels or using both sides of the paper in a notebook, always look for opportunities to make a difference at school and in the world. Remember to be kind to the world we live in – it’s the only one we have, so it is important to embrace its beauty and keep it green.