Green Team Advocates for “No Idling Zone”

Green Team Advocates for No Idling Zone

Aurora Hebner

Walpole High School’s morning parking lot situation can be easily described as a hectic, frustrating headache. Each morning, the front drop-off circle is inhabited with a countless number of parents dropping off their children at the school, but the cars do not end where school property ends; Common Street becomes a parking lot as well. Not only is this site an annoyance for passersby forced to wait in the line of traffic, but the running cars also accumulate ridiculous amounts of exhaust.

Although the traffic dilemma seems inevitable, WHS’s Green Team has decided to resolve the hazardous mess produced by the traffic. Head of the Green Team, Mrs. Karen Baumgartner said, “With so many cars running for excessive amounts of time, the amount of exhaust can cause asthma rates to increase, it wastes gas, and it’s just terrible for the environment,” and because of this, they have established the area a “No Idling Zone.” Baumgartner explained that there is in fact a law in Massachusetts prohibiting cars from idling for more than five minutes, but it is not enforced, so the team has decided to put the law into action at WHS. By installing signs outside the building reading “No Idling Zone,” the team hopes to urge students and parents to turn off their vehicles and help reduce harmful greenhouse gases. The signs, Mrs. Baumgartner hopes, will arrive by next week.

Along with this project, The Green Team has also began an effort to generally reduce energy waste at the school between heating, electricity, water usage, etc. President of the team, senior Alex Wong said, “We plan to act upon the outrageously large number that we found to be the bill for the high school alone.” At a recent meeting, the team asked Jeff Mattson, a janitor at the high school, what the system is for shutting off lights and computers overnight and over the weekends, in hopes of making improvements. Mr. Mattson assured the group that all lights and most computers are shut off by janitors before locking up the school at night.

Despite being such a small club, the Green Team has overall been highly successful in their efforts to make WHS a more environmentally friendly place. They have planted Xeriscape gardens, collect the recycling bins around the school weekly, and have even placed fourth in the state at the Recycle-Bowl Competition. The Team just hopes they can continue their success with the No-Idling-Zone.