On February 22nd, a group of four Earth Task Force members attended the Alliance for Sustainability Conference at the Colorado State Capitol Building. At the conference the Earth Task Force learned about current bills that focus on sustainability, climate change and the environment. Adam Stenftenagel, the co-founder and CEO of Snugg Home presented at the conference. He informed the audience about simple, cost-effective ways to improve the energy efficiency of residential homes.
After the initial briefing, students were introduced to Andy Kerr, a Colorado state senator working on green school bills. Kerr informed the ETF about a bill he recently wrote and sponsored. House bill 09-1312 allows school districts to apply for a small loan from the Colorado state treasury at a low interest rate. This bill will allow the ETF to apply for a grant that wouldn’t have been possible due to lack of funds from the school district. Speaking to Kerr in person was an unexpected, yet wonderful experience for the ETF it meant that a state senator was willing to take time out of his day to speak directly with high school students.
Andy Kerr invited Earth Task Force students to sit in on the House floor as bills were being discussed by the legislators. The students also spent their day speaking with house and state representatives. They discussed an upcoming plastic bag ban in Denver, and invited the politicians to a rally for the ban on April 13th, 2013. The unique experience provided the young activists with valuable information and tools with which to complete current and future projects. The experience also taught students that approaching, and working with local government officials is possible and a useful resource for the future.
Written by student journalists Robert Harding and Tavius Koktavy.
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.