GVNHS projects ace environmental summit presentation
Similar to present day executives’ governance agenda, Guisad Valley National High Schooler Bryan Bert Ganaden gave a detailed presentation of the environmental programs in his school.
Ganaden participated in the first environment summit at the Baguio Cultural and Convention Center last Monday, Aug. 8 where Mayor Benjamin Magalong, City Planning and Development Office head Archt. Donna Rillera-Tabangin, Watershed and Water Resources and Research Development and Extension Center (WWRRDEC) head Helen Madumba took part. Arjon Samantha Namolngo, a fifth grader of Josefa Carino Elementary School and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Director Ralph Pablo were also presenters.
The environment summit’s theme is, “Leapfrogging towards livable communities.”
During the forum, Ganaden elaborated on GVNHS’ environmental projects: the Materials’ Recovery Facility (MRF), the Plant Nursery, the Eco-brick challenge, Gulayan sa Paaralan, Adopt a watershed program, Yearly tree planting, and Clean-up activity.
Other projects are: the Most sustainable and eco-friendly classroom, Adopt-a-creek, Signages for light conservation, Bring your own lunch box and water container, and Paper conservation.
The projects are doable, simple, well-planned and executed in reachable venues, the school and the community.
The MRF which houses reusable and recyclable materials are segregated by GVNHS students, and checked by Youth for Environment in Schools Organization (YES-O) members. Non-compliance would mean re-segregation, Ganaden said, putting emphasis on the seriousness of the students’ will and work for the environment. The recyclables are sold for school supplies for needy students, or other school projects, benefiting the environment and beneficiaries.
The plant nursery which was sourced out from a demolished building was built by students and supportive offices: the Bureau of Fire Protection and CIAG. It is now a source of seedlings for tree-planting activities in the school, in the community and in the adopted watershed, Buyog. The project teaches self-reliance in students and makes the school self-sufficient as to needed tree seedlings.
Tree-caring, weeding and tree guarding is also done aside from planting, to ensure tree survival in the school, in the community and adopted watershed Buyog, Ganaden reported. Literary-minded students may also pen poems or odes to trees, in a sub-project: “poet-tree.”
The eco-brick challenge where plastic bottles are filled with foils and wrappers was also mentioned, a home and school project for students. The bottles are weighed for uniformity, and as hundreds to thousands of eco-bricks were collected, these were used to reinforce a portion of the school grounds.
Students and teachers were motivated to plant and care for vegetables, root crops and spices in the Gulayan sa paaralan which from the grounds progressed to raised beds through the assistance of sponsor adult groups. Organic fertilizer was used from weedings and segregated biodegradables, it was known.
Other projects with environmental impact were the clean-up drive and adopt-a-creek where sanitation issues were addressed, at neighboring venues. It is noted that the students clean their surroundings and the creek, as these may harbor illness-causing organisms, or emit caustic odor which is harmful to the lungs.
A project: Most sustainable and eco-friendly classroom, faculty room and canteen; with three groupings: labels for trash bins, clean-ups at three o’clock, and ecological information corner is also undertaken.
Trash bin contents are labeled as to contents, while trash is fully segregated for checking and disposal at three o’clock dismissal on Fridays, and a corner dedicated to information, recycled products and recyclable materials were among those concentrated on by the GVNHS students, science club and YES-O members.
Another notable project is the full utilization of paper, before proper disposal, and signages in the classroom, faculty room and canteen as a reminder to everybody to conserve energy through putting off the lights, and computers when not in use.
And as no non-recyclable materials or single-use plastics are allowed in GVNHS, students are urged to bring their own eating utensils, and lunch boxes. Even water bottles are requested to minimize the use of plastic containers. The situation was implemented when the school canteen would often run out of food containers for the students.
Ganaden presented the dozen doable environmental practices which gained the YES-O group several awards: Best Youth-Led Activity of the year, 2017; Ingenuity Award, Most Active Organization, in 2018.
In 2021, several Division level Gawad Siklab were received: for GVNHS, Most Outstanding YES-O implementor, and Best implementor for Gulayan sa Paaralan; for Bryan Bert Ganaden, Most Outstanding YES-O student leader; and Most Outstanding YES-O adviser Jerry Manogan.
Said GVNHS environment-friendly projects serve as a learning laboratory, with support from the community, government officials, agencies and concerned entities. – JGF