On February 27th, 2012, attendees of the Green Schools National Conference came to visit New Vista High School (NVHS) and the Earth Task Force (ETF) got a chance to show off in a good way. About 50 people from all over the nation participated in the tour. The ETF visit was part of a larger tour of Boulder Valley School District’s sustainability efforts, but the organizers of the tour specifically asked to visit the Earth Task Force!
The work ETF has done at NVHS is significant because the story of their building is the story of many schools across the country. The NVHS school building is old, inefficient, and an energy hog! There’s little money, lots of issues, an old boiler, but lots of enthusiasm. The tour of NVHS, designed and run by students in the ETF, highlighted changes schools can make without large-scale capital improvement. The tour consisted of 5 stations that highlighted the ETF’s fundraising and grassroots efforts: solar panels, low-flow toilets, the school
garden, vending machine misers, and the student-run compost.
At each station, ETF members talked about the projects and then took questions
from attendees. At the solar panel display, people on the tour furiously scribbled
down the names of various energy contests. At the garden station, tour members
read the colorful signs from about the space, by the compost they oohed and aahed! In between stations, ETF members leading the tours pointed out stickers on light switches around the school that say “Turn Me Off. How would you feel if someone turned you on and left?” As one attendee put it, “that might not go over so well at an elementary school.”
The Earth Task Force received lots of positive feedback about the tour attendees
at the larger conference in Denver called it “The highlight of the week.”
Written by Seth Blum, student reporter, edited by Paige Doughty.
The Earth Task Force (ETF) is a Cottonwood Institute-supported program at New Vista High School in Boulder, CO designed to give students an opportunity to take the lead to implement sustainability initiatives at their school.