Green Team members Sarah Rommelfanger, biology freshman, Tendai Kwaramba, biology sophomore, Timothy Henry, and Sydnee Nelson, biology freshman, take turns speaking to Winfield High School students Jan. 28. The tema enlightened the students about Commemorate Kansas Day and gave facts and suggestions about ways to maintain a clean environment.

Despite the winter winds and freezing temperatures, members of the Green Team ventured out to Winfield High School for a presentation in support of Commemorate Kansas Day on Jan. 28. 

Timothy Henry, freshman Tendai Kwaramba, biology and bio chemistry sophomore, Sydnee Nelson, freshman, Sarah Rommelfanger, biology freshman, and Green Team sponsor Jason Speegle- addressed information about the Green Team, projects, statistics, and more.

The Green Team received a grant, and with this grant came “the responsibility of reaching out to area high schools and middle schools to teach them about sustainability and Kansas’ history and what role Kansas can play in the future in terms of how to be more reasonable with resources, energy, etc.,” said Speegle. “We contacted many schools from Winfield, Udall and Ark City, but only Winfield High School obliged to have the presentation offered on campus.”

During the presentation, the four student speakers talked about many things ranging from individual lifestyles to global issues.  Our ecological footprints can be measured on a website and each speaker talked about their own results after taking the online quiz and how many earths it would take to support humans if everyone lived as they do. Rommelfanger described the presentation as a positive experience.  “I was apprehensive about how the high school students would respond to us.  It was nice to be able to reach out to high school students outside college, and I hope we got a positive message across and they will join us in our enthusiasm.”

The four speakers went on to talk about how depleting our resources is a problem not only today, but also for future generations.  With this in mind, they narrowed the point of view down from global to in-state and local.  The water wars in Kansas are a current issue. Millions of acres of land in Kansas are used for farmland, which is well over half of total land in Kansas.  Farming is not executed efficiently either.  Nutrients are being depleted in the soil, water is being wasted, and these problems are becoming harder to fix. 

Renewable resources and little ways to help such as walking, carpooling, and turning off electronics when not in use were mentioned toward the end of the presentation. 

After the presentation the high school students were supplied with water bottles and tote bags supporting the Green Team, and to have as a reminder to reuse resources.  That was not the end, however.

The Green Team and several students from the high school went to Southwestern’s field station in the afternoon.  “This was part of grant as well,” said Speegle.  “We invited students from all high schools to join.  About 20 from Winfield High School came out and saw our large solar panel and wind turbine, which both provide all electricity for field station.  No city power is used out there.” 

After the day of presenting and learning, Kwaramba said, “I have a passion for the environment, and as human beings, it is our responsibility to take care of the environment. We are the reason why there are so many problems.”