Teens turning green: AP Environmental Science class practices sustainable living


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A new message. This time, the text isn’t from a friend talking about how great Adele’s new song is. It is from the organization Teens Turning Green informing them of their daily challenge. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Patricia Ehsani proposed the idea for her AP Environmental Science (APES) class to participate in this contest throughout the month of October. Teens Turning Green is focused on maintaining the ecosystem and preserving the environment. The Project Green Challenge is a call to action of high school and college students to raise awareness of their impact on the environment. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]“By participating in the challenge, I hoped it would increase students’ awareness and empower them to act,” Ehsani said. “I’m very passionate about helping students to understand that they can make a difference in the world and that difference has to start with small, individual actions.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]The students were sent a challenge every day with varying difficulty levels that each gave a certain number of points if performed. Each challenge focused on things the students could change in their personal lives in order to benefit their environment.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]“I learned to be more aware of the products that I use and how much red meat and water I use because of its dramatic effect on our environment and world,” APES student and contest participant Emma Morris said. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Ehsani maintains eco-friendly practices in her own home because of her beliefs as a Master Naturalist.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]I do the traditional things at home like recycling and composting,” Ehsani said. “We do outdoor composting for yard wastes and worm composting for kitchen scraps.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Along with carrying out many environmentally healthy practices at home, Ehsani helps volunteer with the Texas Stream Team which monitors the water quality of the Trinity River.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]“I’m involved with removing invasive species and reintroducing native species back to our blackland prairie habitat,” Ehsani said. “I’ve tried the vegetable gardening thing but I don’t have a green thumb.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]The Project Green Challenge also serves as a bank of ideas for schools to implement new environmentally friendly projects. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]“The school has a great paper recycling program,” Ehsani said. “It would be nice to introduce plastic bottle recycling but I understand there may be some costs associated with it.  Students could reduce their plastic bottle use by using metal water bottles and refilling them at water fountains. Other schools have designed a school composting system to turn cafeteria wastes into compost that is used around the campus.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]