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D’Evelyn keeps lights low, recycling awareness high on Earth Day

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By Emile Hallez

Students at D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School took a low-key approach to Earth Day, and during a day on which conserving energy is particularly apropos, turning off some of the building’s lights was a silent celebration.

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“I think that my generation has ruined the planet. And I think it’s up to this generation to fix the planet,” said assistant librarian Kim McSwain, who organized an Earth Day display in the library. “We only have one shot to do it.”

D’Evelyn was constructed with large windows lining many of the classrooms, making soft, natural light a favorable alternative on April 22 to the greenish cast of fluorescent bulbs.

“I had two teachers come up and say, ‘Good idea. I’ve turned off my lights for the day as well,’ ” McSwain said.

Teachers and students could be seen walking the halls in the school’s trademark forest green T-shirts, a nod to Earth Day.

“It’s nice having green for school colors,” said principal Jill Colby, who recalled celebrating the first Earth Day in 1970 by cleaning up an irrigation ditch near Littleton High School. “We all have our ‘Go Green’ shirts on.”

The school also marked the day with a fund-raiser to plant trees in Ethiopia, the Philippines and Nicaragua. A display lined the library’s entrance, and for a dollar, students could add a leaf to the paper tree, specifying where they wanted their sapling planted.

And with recycling being a staple topic common to Earth Day celebrations, the school emphasized its existing programs to help keep trash out of landfills.

D’Evelyn’s Latin Club places recycling bins throughout the school and makes rounds every few weeks to empty them. And old books that would otherwise be discarded are donated to schools in Africa, McSwain said.

“The library prints a lot of stuff, and we recycle all of it,” McSwain said. “Even the packaging material we recycle.”

And on a day when raising awareness about conserving the Earth’s limited resources is central, students showed their enthusiasm.

“It’s kind of nice,” said seventh-grader Liam Bush, who regularly collects the recycling for the Latin Club. “It won’t fill up the landfills.”

 

Contact Emile Hallez Williams at emile@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22. For updates, check www.ColumbineCourier.com.