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The student news site of C. M. Russell High School

Rustler News

The student news site of C. M. Russell High School

Rustler News

MESA conference offers ideas, opportunities to be green

At CMR, students are doing more than throwing a bottle into a recycling bin to help the environment.

“We were the main presenters,” senior Katie Noland said about the Montana Environmental Students Alliance (MESA) conference held in Helena March 5. Noland attended a conservation  school last fall and since then has been really involved in saving the environment.

“[We presented] our composting, electric car and windmill projects,” she said. Noland, along with junior Adam Cordeiro, attended the conference to bounce ideas off other environmental high school students. Other schools attending the conference were from Kalispell, Bozeman, Missoula and Carroll College in Helena.

They also discussed the political aspects involved with  saving the environment.

“Pat Williams, an old-time politician, (Montana’s former Representative to the House) had a discussion panel about the difference between partisan and policy directed toward environmentalism,” she said.

 After attending the conference, Noland has made connections that will allow her to continue her life working for the environment. She met Attorney General Steve Bullock, as well as Governor Brian Schweitzer.

“I met a lot of higher-up people. There’s a lot of people at the college level and adults in [environmental] projects,” she said.

Noland is currently working on a project for plastic recycling at CMR, and is trying to get others involved.

“I’m trying to get the art department to decorate the recycling containers,” she said.

“[MESA made me realize] I could be more involved at the high school level,” she said.

Cordeiro agrees that for the environment to benefit, everybody must try to make a difference.

“The best way to become green is to take the first step,” he said. Cordeiro founded the Going Green club at CMR with teacher Randy Faechner. He also helped build the greenhouse. When he went to the MESA conference, he met with others who share his passion for the environment.

“Tree huggers, granola ears, whatever you want to call them. It was a happy, cool environment,” he said. Everybody there was environmentally friendly like Cordeiro. Overall, he enjoyed the MESA conference.

“[It was] a bunch of college kids coming together to talk about what they’re doing,” he said. Cordeiro said high school students were invited so that when they get to the college level, they’re already involved in MESA.

“I talked about wind energy we’re using out here. I talked about the electric car, the ‘green machine’,” he said. Beyond working with the agricultural department, Cordeiro also plans on doing things for Earth Day.

“We’re going to do an Earth fact every day of April on the announcements,” he said. Since Earth Day is part of spring break, Cordeiro would like to plan a cleanup of the River’s Edge Trail. Beyond that, he is going to continue working on the school’s environmental projects.

“I’m going to try to green-ify our school,” he said.

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MESA conference offers ideas, opportunities to be green