Going Green at CHP
Kermit the Frog once sang that it wasn’t easy being green, but young residents at CHP rental communities in Pulaski, Virginia, and Ocala, Florida, recently learned that going green may not be as hard as it seems.
Thanks to an eco-conscious after-school program called Going Green at CHP that was developed and taught by CHP’s resident services staff, children at Meadowview and Parkside Gardens Apartments were introduced to the three ‘Rs’ of environmental sustainability: reduce, reuse, and recycle. One day a week for two months, approximately 20 children ages 6 – 13 took part in educational and engaging activities designed to teach how and why to conserve water, the benefits of reusing items instead of sending them to the landfill, and what can be recycled in their own community. They even memorized a Going Green pledge (see below) to help them remember the importance of being an environmental steward.
“We were happy to see that the program participants latched onto these topics and got excited about them,” commented Carrie Lisle, an AmeriCorps VISTA member who worked with Resident Services Coordinators Kelsey Rayburn and Diane McElveen to create the program’s curriculum. Added Rayburn, "The children were quite creative when it came to discussions about how to be green and seemed to have a really good time with the program."
“Hopefully the students and their parents will put the lessons into practice at home by cutting down on their water usage, repurposing everyday household items, and, of course, recycling those things that have outlived their current life cycle. The good news is even small changes in behavior can add up and have a big impact on the planet, and people’s pocketbooks. When you save resources, you also save money," said Lisle.
Going Green at CHP Pledge
I pledge allegiance to Big Blue!
That's the Earth and what we call her too!
Do my best to keep her clean,
Because Big Blue needs to be GREEN.
I'll cut off the lights when I'm done!
I won't let the water run.
I won't smoke because I care
I know that it pollutes the air
I'll pick up litter
I'll pick up trash
I will reuse the things I have.
I'll donate toys that don’t get play
They can be used another day
I pledge allegiance to Big Blue
I will teach the adults how to too!