Can Nerinx Get Greener?


Photographer: Cela Cashel

Halle Jackson

Nerinx bleeds green. Sports games, spirit days, and the everyday uniform all show that the school is filled to the brim with green and white. But is Nerinx green in the sense of “going green” for the environment? To find out, Hallways surveyed students of all grade levels on their thoughts about Nerinx’s environmental sustainability; forty-three students responded.

When asked if Nerinx does a good job of providing recycling bins and chances to reduce waste at school, twenty-three students said that the school community does enough to be sustainable. Nineteen others said that Nerinx could do better; one declined to answer. When asked how the community could better practice sustainability, the dissatisfied students readily offered suggestions. One requested that the current recycling and sustainability operations be more obvious, in the form of more and bigger recycling cans. Another student, junior Drew Lubbers, emphasises that the Nerinx community can work harder towards sustainability. “Starting to garden and compost food from the cafeteria would be a step I’d like to see at Nerinx,” she says.

Heard more often than any other suggestion, though, was a desire for more advocacy for recycling at school. Students want themselves and others in the Nerinx community to be more aware of what can be recycled and to be urged to actually practice sustainability at school, in every area from recycling plastic bags in the cafeteria to cutting down on printer use. These students acknowledge that because these efforts are in place, the interest is obviously there, but more action needs to be taken to follow through on them.

Planet Patrol is on the case. The club’s goal for the year is to make Nerinx greener than ever, according to club President Mary Clare Muehlmann. “Our big goal for the year is composting and minimizing our waste,” she says. Educational recycling announcements on the Morning Show are in their plans, as are planned celebrations for earth-related holidays and efforts to reduce plastic waste during events at school.

So far, they have set up magnetic marker holders in almost all classrooms in the school to recycle used plastic pens, mechanical pencils, and dry erase markers. Additionally, the club has joined a recycling program put on by Trex, a decking company that uses 95% recycled wood and plastic materials in their composite decking. Cardboard boxes with “Trex” printed on the sides have been placed around the school in which students and faculty can place plastics like grocery bags, resealable plastic baggies, case overwrap, dry cleaning bags, ice bags and bubble wrap. These will be donated to Trex, which will recycle them to use in their products.

In addition to these new programs, Nerinx’s current sustainability efforts include having recycling cans in each room, including one large one on the side of the cafeteria by the teacher table, and an emphasis on using reusable water bottles.

With the school actively taking steps to be more environmentally conscious, Nerinx is on track to be the greenest it’s ever been.