Thompson club goes green

When Thompson High School junior Rachel McMullen first approached science teacher Bruce Saunders about starting a Green Club as part of a Girl Scouts project, she never imagined it would grow into what it is today.

The diverse club now has 15 members from all classes, and nearly every teacher in the school has a plastic bin for recycling paper.

In addition to recycling, Saunders said the club has designs for a greenhouse at the school, in addition to building composite flower boxes and adopting a mile of Alabama 119.

By taking care of the local community and showing kids that recycling works, Saunders said he hopes the kids will carry the lessons learned in Green Club with them for the rest of their lives.

“We’ve got to be able to use things on the planet and we have to use things wisely,” Saunders said. “If people don’t see a return on recycling, they’ll never really see that it works.”

For next school year, Saunders said he would like for the club to reach out in the community to see what businesses are doing to be green.

“We’re about more than picking up paper in the afternoons,” Saunders said. “My desire is for the students to find out what businesses are doing to be green, and if they’re not recycling, maybe we can bring back ideas.

“A little bit of knowledge helps, and we’re trying to get that next step going,” he added.

McMullen, said it is imperative for students, teachers, parents and businesses alike to join in the recycling effort.

“We want to make everybody aware that the path we’re going on now, we’re just killing the planet,” she said.

McMullen also said the club has reached out to other schools in the Alabaster area to get the kids involved in recycling at an earlier age.

In addition to the other schools in Alabaster, Saunders said schools like Oak Mountain have reached out to him for advice on starting their own Green Club.

“It was great to hear that the message is spreading,” Saunders said. “Kids carry lessons with them. It does spread.”

Anyone interested in making a donation toward building the THS greenhouse should contact Saunders at 682-5700 or at BSaunders@Shelbyed.k12.al.us.