Since the beginning of the school year, a group of students have worked to help Burke become a cleaner and greener school. The Burke Green Team is making an impact on recycling at school events and trying to decrease the amount of litter on campus. By improving the cleanliness of Burke, the Green Team is contributing to creating a healthier environment in Omaha.
In recent years, the movement to prevent climate change has gained momentum. People of all ages have been working to stop the global temperatures from rising, and many teens are advocating for a change in behaviors to help the climate. Sophomore Amaya Bartee is one of many students working to improve the cleanliness of Burke and the Omaha area.
“I wanted to be a part of the Green Team at Burke because it is the best way I could make an impact on our community and environment, while also being a full time student,” Bartee said. “It gave me an opportunity to make a difference in the health and beauty of the Earth on a manageable scale.”
The Green Team is making many efforts to help Burke go green. The building and parking lot contain unnecessary litter, like disposable masks and garbage, the team is working on minimizing. Environmental science teacher and sponsor of the Green Team, Lee Stover, discussed all of the hard work the group has been putting into making Burke a cleaner place.
“We have in-the-building recycling starting back up, new plastic recycling containers in the stadium, we are doing school yard and parking lot clean up, and work in the school garden,” Stover said. “I am working on a grant to obtain new recycling containers to add to those in the stadium and to place in the new athletic area near the gym, so we can continue these actions at indoor events like wrestling, basketball, and volleyball.”
One of the main focuses of the Green Team is to minimize the amount of recyclable items that are thrown away in landfill trash cans. The team works at football games to increase the amount of recycling that occurs in the Burke Stadium. They will continue to advocate for recycling for the rest of the football season, and want to continue to do so throughout the whole school year.
“Coca-Cola donated three recycling bins to the stadium, and because we have never done recycling in that area before, the Green Team students were there to remind people to toss their plastic bottles in those containers and not the landfill waste containers,” Stover said.
The Green Team welcomes any Burke Student who wants to help the health of the environment to join the group. They meet Thursdays after school to discuss ways to improve Burke’s cleanliness and help pick up trash around school. Sophomore Ava Nichter encourages her peers to join the team and make Burke a better place.
“People should join the Burke Green Team because we need to keep Burke nice and clean,” Nichter said. “Climate change is very real, and if there are ways we can help reverse that, we should start now.”