Staff and Students Work Together to Address Climate Change at DeLaSalle High School

Elisabeth and the GREEN Team at DeLaSalle High School are members of Youth Environmental Activists of Minnesota (YEA! MN). YEA! MN is a core program of Climate Generation, dedicated to engaging and empowering high school students to lead on the transition to a just and resilient climate future for all.

GREEN Team members participating in DeLaSalle’s spring waste sort

The DeLaSalle High School GREEN Team is comprised of students and two moderators who work to make the school an environmentally conscious community. The team creates opportunities for student-led discussions about the environment, hosts guest speakers who are environmental leaders, creates and produces environmental projects, and works to make an environmental difference in the community.

Activities/projects that GREEN Team has been involved in include:

  • Meatless Mondays: After researching the viability of meatless meal options at DeLaSalle, GREEN Team students wrote a proposal for Meatless Mondays and presented the information to DeLaSalle’s Student Council for a vote. The Council passed the vote and Meatless Mondays have been implemented since the end of April 2016. The proposal to the council addressed:
    • Reasons why Meatless Mondays are beneficial to reducing harmful green house gas emissions
    • Healthy food options to make the school lunch and breakfast meatless
    • Frequently asked questions about Meatless Mondays
  • GREEN Team is working with the kitchen staff to consider less wasteful packaging of pre made and fresh made foods.
  • GREEN Team along with DeLaSalle staff are working together to create three gardens:
    • One vegetable garden for food used: in the kitchen, food donations, and food for locals/fellow islanders (this project will begin in the fall of 2016 and seeds will be planted in the spring of 2017)
    • One garden at the front of the school- filled with grasses, wild flowers, and pollinator attracting plants
    • One garden at back of the school’s football field for students to have a work/study space and a garden to attract pollinators- filled with native plants, native grasses, native flowers, and pollinator attracting plants.
  • Campus Biodiesel was a project started in 2015, which was led by students Hanna Brand and Kumar Flower Kay (both seniors who graduated last year). GREEN Team is working to restart the project and eventually sustain DeLaSalle buses.
  • Working with DeLaSalle’s Honors Art teacher, GREEN Team member Elisabeth AndrĂ© developed an environmental art assignment to raise awareness about environmental destruction. Honors Art students painted contrasting art pieces: one piece featuring a pristine, unpolluted landscape, the other displaying a polluted, destroyed dystopian future after years of environmental destruction. The contrasting art pieces are displayed at the school’s entrance to juxtapose these two extremes.
DeLaSalle Principal and GREEN Team Members receive 2015 Building Energy Performace Award from Mayor Betsy Hodges

In addition to all of these activities, the DeLaSalle High School earned a 2015 Building Energy Performance Award for its Energy Star rating of 80! GREEN Team students joined the school Principal at Minneapolis City Hall to accept the Energy Star award from Mayor Betsy Hodges. Not only is the school a leader in energy efficiency, it also encourages students to sort their waste into compost, the recycling, and the trash. Two waste sorts occur annually -one in fall and one in spring- to ensure proper waste sorting.

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