One of the most active student volunteer organizations to serve the Mary Star of the Sea High School community is the Green Team. Consisting of approximately 20 participants from all grade levels, the Green Team collects recycled paper, bottles and cans weekly from the school offices and lunch area. When Mary Star of the Sea High School moved to the present new campus in 2007, the Green Team expanded a recycling program targeting classrooms, offices, and the lunch pavilion. Their efforts demonstrate to the student body we have a responsibility to engage in a long-term, sustained environmental effort.
Mary Star students have fun and take their responsibility seriously through a youth-driven collaborative effort. Their weekly actions are known throughout campus as students watch them wearing gloves collecting and sorting through trash and recyclable bins. They lead by example.
Monthly, over 100 pounds of waste is diverted from landfills due to this dedicated student group’s efforts. Paper and cardboard boxes are placed in a large recycling dumpster that is picked up weekly. Collected cans and bottles are taken to a recycler by student volunteers. In total, the recycled materials bring in $500-$800 every year that is returned to the school to provide supplies for the overall school program and classrooms. The money has been used to purchase additional recycling bins for the campus and support educational field trips to the Water Treatment Plant (El Segundo, California) and the Puente Hills Landfill to show students why their efforts are necessary.
Money from the recycling program is also used to purchase trees, plants and gardening equipment (e.g. shovels, rakes, gloves) to improve a greener, shadier and more water-secure campus. The Green Team developed a partnership with TreePeople to teach us how to properly plant and care for the trees; we have planted more than 50 trees on campus since 2007!
The team has also organized campus clean-up days to remove trash and other debris that could plug storm drains and create storm water pollution through run-off to the ocean.