Following the club’s efforts in rethinking the way the school views recycling, energy and water use, the team at the Green Club has since reduced the school’s trash by 1,938 pounds, reduced electricity use by more than 16,000 kilowatt hours (the equivalent of 12,000 pounds of burned coal), and reduced water usage by more than 3,000 gallons.
“The Green Flag award places Maspeth among an elite group of schools across the country that are improving their schools by reducing energy costs and waste, greening school grounds and nurturing student-scientists through hands-on learning,” said Emily Fano, NYC outreach manager with the Eco-Schools USA program.”
Biology teacher Aaron Bell and the Maspeth Green Club began working toward reducing the school’s energy usage over the last two years.
Since then, they have held town hall assemblies, set up recycling bins, and handed out energy saving tips and recycling messages in every classroom. For their efforts, the school took home the 2012 and 2013 Golden Apple Awards.
“This is a very exciting day for Maspeth High School,” Bell said. “Just looking out at my students right now, this is really my inspiration. I think showcasing our school in every facet is a very meaningful thing.”
Maspeth High School and the Green Club hosted a science fair at the school, located at 54-40 74th Street, before the awards ceremony to showcase some of their research projects over the last year.
Carla Grilli and her team in the Maspeth Aeronautics Space Association worked together to create a hovercraft made from wooden planks, a garbage bag, shower curtain, duct tape and a leaf blower.
“We learned that the air pressure pushes down and the same amount of force pushes back up,” Grilli explained. “We also learned that air is really fun.”
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley joined the school and NWF last week to help celebrate the award and the school's sustainability initiatives.
“These students have shown how young people can be real leaders in their communities and make an impact that will last generations,” Crowley said. “We will continue to work together to plant more trees and inspire our neighbors to help keep our community green.”
State Senator Joseph Addabbo said the state legislature has secured EPA funding over the last two years, and he encouraged the students to bring their ideas for green initiatives to his office and continue to grow on the grassroots level.
“We have to hear it from our people, and we have to hear it from our constituents and from our environmentalists on how to protect our environment,” Addabbo said. “What you’re doing here is just like what we’re trying to in government, and that’s protect our future and make tomorrow a better day.”