The annual Environmental Service Award (ESA) competition is sponsored by the Michigan departments of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), Natural Resources, and Agriculture and Rural Development in conjunction with an Earth Day poster contest for middle and high schools.
Schools and teachers are invited to nominate a student or group of students, to be recognized for completion of a school sanctioned, environment-based project that had tangible results. The project must benefit plants, wildlife, or ecosystems native to Michigan. Schools confirmed the validity of each project and outcome.
The Alcona Junior Honor Society at Alcona Middle School, south of Alpena, has participated in its Recycling Environmental Service Project since the fall of 2018. The honor society students conduct weekly paper, cardboard, plastic, and aluminum recycling for the entire middle and high schools. Their goal is to educate staff and students about the benefits of recycling, including:
At Charlotte High School southwest of Lansing, students, part of the Functional Independence program, heard about an Indiana-based company that supports schools or youth organizations in collecting plastic caps and lids to recycle them into plastic objects like benches, picnic tables, and trash bins.
Students take the caps off all the water and pop bottles and place them into bins at the high school.
They have a very ambitious goal of collecting over 300 pounds of plastic caps and lids this year. To help meet their goal, they have enlisted the help of the community by placing drop-off bins at each of the Charlotte schools, as well as the Charlotte Area Recycling Authority.
They have collected, washed, and sorted over 296 pounds of caps and lids and are looking forward to trading in their caps and lids for a bench later this spring that can be placed in the school courtyard for student use.
Photo caption: Students from Alcona Middle School working on the project that won an Environmental Service Award for Earth Day 2021.