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May 13, 2014

NHS Environmental Club recognized by state

NEWBURYPORT — The Environmental Club at Newburyport High School recently was recognized by state officials with one of 27 awards in the Commonwealth for its “excellence in energy and environmental education” efforts.

The honor came at a recent event in Boston, where Rick Sullivan, secretary of the state Energy and Environmental Affairs Office, provided recognition to 22 schools and five non-profit groups.

Local recycling and energy coordinator Molly Ettenborough, who works closely with members of the club, was present at the event. Teachers who have made major contributions to the club’s activities include Graciella Cummins and Sheila King.

Club supervisors say members have done the following: helped organize two Green Expo Fairs at the Nock Middle School; educated residents about the Green Up Energy Efficiency Challenge on National Grid bills; worked to get Styrofoam trays out of the high school cafeteria; helped the city audit all street lights and worked with Next Step Living to publicize the Mass Save program available to all residents.

They have also collected button cell mercury batteries throughout the city, helped with the “community carbon challenge” to get people to reduce energy usage and worked with a science teacher to start a composting program for the lunch room.

The club also assisted the city’s Citizens for Sustainable Bagging group in showing the movie “Bag It,” a film about the merits of banning thin plastic bags.

Ettenborough said, “One of the greatest parts of my job is working with students, both young elementary ages who are so attentive and curious and older ones that are really thinking about their world outside of high school.”

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