For Kristen Powers, real change came with the installation of a light switch.
As president of the Green Tiger Campaign, an environmental club at Chapel Hill High School, Powers and 29 other students worked to inspire discussion on climate change using Facebook and recycling events.
The students’ efforts placed them among the top five schools in the DoSomething.org Green Your School Challenge for the second year running.
“We had never really made a tangible, eco-friendly change to our school infrastructure,” Powers said. “This is the first example that we had where we were able to know that we significantly reduced the energy use of our school.”
But the motion-detecting light switches the club installed in the school’s teacher’s lounges were just the beginning.
Powers said her club plans to use a portion of the $1,000 grant it received for winning the challenge to install motion-detecting light switches in five classrooms.
The remaining money will be split between the club’s community garden, which provides free produce to low-income families, and activities the group is planning for the next school year, Powers said.
Melanie Stevenson, director of business development for DoSomething.org, said the club competed against students from over 2,500 schools nationwide, including 11 from North Carolina.
“The goal of the program is to empower young people to create change in the place where they spend most of their time, a place where they can work together with their friends and really have a big impact on important environmental issues,” Stevenson said.