(Photo: Pixabay)

(Photo: Pixabay)

Students bring topic of sustainability to school board

A call for more sustainable practices was brought to the attention of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education meeting Monday.

Two Soldotna High School seniors from the school’s sustainability club spoke to the school board in support of introducing and expanding educational programs that promote practices like recycling and composting.

“When students start recycling and composting and are realizing the waste that they create when they’re younger, they’re much more likely to keep those practices going throughout their adult lives,” Soldotna High School senior Eve Downing said at Monday’s meeting. “My younger brother has an elementary school that practices recycling so he knows how to recycle. He knows the differences between number one plastics and number two.”

Downing said it’s important for the school board to set precedent that each school should have similar programs that teach students, from a young age, about the waste they create and where that waste goes. She said doing so is an investment in our future.

Downing, who helped start the sustainability club, said she saw a need and a desire within Soldotna High School to create a place where students can gather and learn more about how they can produce less waste at home and at school.

School board member Virginia Morgan said she hopes the school board can support the sustainability club’s efforts, making it easier for those efforts to spread throughout the district.

Sarah Mickelson, a Soldotna High School senior, also told the school board that students in the sustainability club are concerned about the future.

“We want it to be healthy and not trashed,” she said. “We want future generations to be educated about sustainability and we believe programs should begin when the students are young.”

Ben Boettger, a member of Kenai Change, also spoke to the school board about a proposal to enact a sustainability commission his group plans to bring to the Kenai Peninsula Borough assembly later this year.

In November, the assembly approved a comprehensive plan for the borough, which calls for the creation of a sustainability commission. The proposal Boettger brought to the school board meetings asks the assembly to begin work in creating the commission.

School board member Mike Illg said he would be interested to see how the district can be more sustainable and how the district can work with the borough and community in finding ways to “be smarter and recycle.”

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