Girl Scouts in Western Washington care about the environment! Girls across our council are making a noticeable difference reducing the impact they have on the world around them, using their resources wisely and recycling whenever possible.
Even better, they’re helping educate others about the importance of all those things, doing their part to help make the world a better place!
We thought it was time to share some of the great projects girls are working on – not just on Earth Day, but every day!
Brownie Troop 41245 got the attention of King County for their lunchtime recycling efforts at Syre Elementary, and earned a 2010 Earth Heroes at School Award!
When troop members noticed how much garbage was being thrown out each day, when most items could be recycled, they decided to take action.
They created a lunchtime recycling program for their service project, and did a lot of research on recycling. The girls soon learned that in America, we use 4 million plastic bottles every hour, and every student creates an average of 67 pounds of garbage a year, just from lunchtime waste!
The troop posted signs all over their lunchroom, gave a speech the first day of their recycling campaign, and started a recycling station, counting the number of items recycled each day. The Brownies staff the station each Friday, and other classmates and parents have volunteered to staff it the rest of the week. As a result, their project has saved hundreds of milk cartons, water bottles, juice cartons and aluminum cans from landfills and helped educate their fellow students about the importance of recycling.
The girls have proven that age has nothing to do with making a difference. Every single person counts, and saving the environment is something everyone can do, young and old!
Genna Birch, a Cadette from Port Angeles Troop 50425, certainly agrees.
After a camping trip opened her eyes to how much fuel Americans use for travel, and how much pollution taints our environment, she wanted to figure out a way to reduce the amount of fuel she and her family used. She also wanted to prove how easy it was for others to do the same, simply by making a few small changes in their daily lives.
She had to find a way to show people what change looks like, so she constructed a sculpture out of empty milk cartons, in order to illustrate what 159 gallons of fuel looked like.
This is the amount she figured that she and her family could save in a year, if they changed some of their daily habits. That 159 gallons means they would save $492 a year! To put it in a different light, Genna joked that it also equaled 123 boxes of Girl Scout cookies! She shared this information at an Earth Day fair in Port Angeles, and talked about other options like walking, riding a bike, combining errands or vacationing closer to home.
Way to go, Genna!
Junior Girl Scout Troop 50008 from Bellingham assisted the Bellingham Gluten Intolerance group in keeping their annual Community Awareness event a zero waste one. This meant they helped to recycle and compost everything they could, and reduce the amount of trash that was sent to the landfill.
They also did a service project with Project Porchlight, an energy efficiency program that encourages people to switch from old fashioned incandescent light bulbs to new energy efficient compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Volunteers deliver free CFL bulbs at community events, as well as door-to-door.
Daisy Troop 40860 from Renton gave out reusable bags during Earth Day last year, as part of their give-back service project. This year, they sculpted art with recycled materials. What a way to use your resources, girls!
Girl Scout staff are also doing their part to make a difference!
At Girl Scout Camp River Ranch, last fall’s leaves are used as mulch, coffee grounds are used as fertilizer, and grass clippings and vegetable scraps from the kitchen are being made into compost for the camp garden! Staff purchased five raised garden bed kits made from 100% recycled milk jugs from a local company. And the best part: the food the garden produces is eaten by campers!
- At Girl Scout Camp St. Albans, there is talk of creating a camp garden and a composting system. The camp has also done away completely with plastic bottles! Bottles are not used or sold in an attempt to reduce the impact on consumption of wasteful products. After all, as the girls from Syre Elementary discovered, Americans use a staggering 4 million plastic bottles every hour! Camp staff also use packaging materials from the kitchen as containers for tools and supplies across camp.
- The Seattle office started composting a few months ago, with great success! There is also a rigorous recycling program in place, and the kitchen has been equipped with donated dishes, mugs and silverware, in place of paper products! There is a dish drying rack, to minimize paper towel use, and everyone is doing their part to reduce paper by not printing at all, or by printing double sided.
- The DuPont Program Center is looking into a composting system, and provides reusable mugs, dishes and silverware to staff members. The office recycles, too! Our council started a Green Team, so staff could collaborate about ways to lower our impact, and half the team comes from DuPont!