Some celebrate Earth Day by planting trees and flowers; others by creating works of art out of recycled materials. But for a few brave souls from 13 VBCPS middle and high schools, Earth Day was all about dumpster diving!
Recently, 22 students from across the school division suited up, steeled their stomachs and dove into the trash to salvage items that should have been recycled at the 2013 Earth Day Celebration at Mount Trashmore Park. The teens conducted the dive to determine if the recycling efforts at the park are successful, and to identify other ways the park can improve its efforts to go green.
Mike Adams, a junior at Ocean Lakes High School, served on the Earth Day Celebration planning committee. He worked with event organizers and Mount Trashmore Park staff to coordinate the logistics for the event and the dumpster dive. Park staff saved the trash from the two days prior to the event and secured an area for the activity. In only 4 hours, the Project Green Teens managed to sort through a trailer full of trash (or about 275 pounds of trash) bag by bag, item by item. Among the unusual items discovered were a metal barbeque grill, tongs and a spatula.
Since the Earth Day Celebration at Mount Trashmore Park attracts a large crowd, Project Green Teens also brought out three Bag Monsters, each made from 500 plastic bags (the
number of plastic bags an average person in the United States uses and disposes of in a single year). Teens took turns donning the costume and strolling through the event to encourage people to use alternatives to single-use plastic bags. They also obtained more than 250 signatures on a petition to ban on plastic bags in Virginia Beach. See more photos of Earth Day celebrations from across VBCPS on Facebook.com/VBSchools.
Project Green Teens is a volunteer group of teens that strive to improve the environment and the mindset of the Virginia Beach community. The teens themselves determine which projects they are interested in, and collectively plan, facilitate and implement the projects with supervision and advice from adult mentors. Community service hours are recorded for each teen. The group meets monthly to collaborate on projects including park and trail cleanups and dumpster diving. Want to get involved? Visit VBgov.com/PGT or contact Caryl Thompson at (757) 385-4871 or cthompso@VBgov.com.