The Springfield YES! team has been very busy this year working on projects in four main categories: fundraising for clean water, environmental education, a YES! week at their school, and pop tab collection.
Their clean water fundraiser, entitled “Say YES! to Clean Water,” will take place on May 8th and include a silent auction and brunch. Students have been gathering items for gift baskets with themes like “summer,” “movies,” “game night,” and “baby.” Proceeds from the event will be donated to Clean Water Action, an organization dedicated to protecting “the environment, health, economic well-being and community quality of life”.
The students interested in providing environmental education to the first grade students at Springfield Elementary will be educating and helping them plant this spring and are considering a trip to the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota in Mankato.
To raise awareness of the benefits of energy efficiency, many students from the team organized a YES! week for their school, which took place March 16-20. Events included an energy fair with local businesses that coincided with their school’s science fair day, dress-up days with energy themes such as “Raid your Grandparents’ Closet” and “Green”, and a blackout day.
The YES! team is also collecting used clothing for the World Ware project.
DREAM Technical Academy
DREAM Technical Academy, a new charter school that opened this school year, joined YES! immediately. Their team is comprised of motivated students that are not afraid to think outside of the box.
To help fund their projects, they have decided to do a campus-wide aluminum can collection. This is especially effective for them because their school is situated on the grounds of the MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar. They not only have a large population from which to acquire cans, but also access to engineers and scientists that work with all kinds of businesses from which to draw inspiration.
The building in which their school is located is historic, so it presents a unique set of challenges when addressing energy efficiency. In order to get an idea of what they are working with, they have started analyzing their school’s energy usage with the Power Cost Monitor YES! Kit. They have also planned a blackout day.
To top it all off, they applied for and were awarded a grant from the Southwest Initiative Foundation to build a compost tumbler. The students’ interest in waste reduction was also addressed at the Waste Audit Winter Workshop where they toured the Kandiyohi County Recycling and Household Hazardous Waste Facility and the county landfill. This workshop culminated in a waste audit at the school that will continue the team on their path to sustainability.
St. Cloud Apollo High School
The Apollo High School YES! Team was already ahead of the curve when they began a partnership with St. Cloud business Tri-County Organics to introduce composting into their lunchroom, but they really changed the game when they created an educational film to show their fellow students and staff how and why to use the new bins. Since the launch of their video, they have been diverting nearly 3 cubic yards of organic waste a day from landfill. That’s three full-size tractor buckets headed back to the earth as rich soil!
You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyJSUTJUcwM
Northern Lights Community School
The YES! team from the Northern Lights Community School has decided to use their school greenhouse more efficiently. They have plans to grow the fruits and vegetables that are most useful for their school lunch programs. With the extra fruits and vegetables that the students will be growing, there is a plan to set up a CSA to help raise money for their future YES! projects. Any fruits and vegetables that they cannot sell will be donated to local families in the school so that none of the produce will be wasted this year. In addition to all the work the YES! team is doing with the garden, the team has purchased a bulk milk dispenser. They calculated how much waste was being generated by their milk cartons, and decided to find a better option of dispensing milk to their classmates. Through these steps, the YES! team is hoping to make an impact for their school, environment and community.
See more of the exciting projects YES! teams are working on by clicking here.