Students go high-tech with green message

Published 12:01 am Thursday, February 14, 2008

NATCHEZ — The wall outside Claudia Stephens’ Trinity Episcopal High School classroom only hints at what’s going on inside.

Poster boards containing different environmental messages and informative facts cover the wall.

And inside the classroom, Stephens’ students are taking that same environmental message to the next level.

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Stephens’ students are designing Web sites to take their messages to the World Wide Web.

Stephens teaches Web design and this year’s crop of students is making Web sites with environmentally friendly themes.

Caroline Ketchings, 17, proudly displayed her Web site.

“(Stephens) got into it and then we just got into it,” Ketchings said about the new level of environmental consciousness in her classroom.

Ketchings’ Web site features a clock that continuously counts down to Earth Day and a link to the Tree Hugger Website.

On the Tree Hugger Web site, links can be found to make just about any aspect of everyday life more environmentally friendly.

Ketchings’ Web site also has a myriad of facts dealing with the environmental repercussions for everyday activities.

“Plastic bottles don’t break down for years,” she said. “If we can start to reuse those we can all start to cut back.”

And Ketchings environmental endeavors at school have lead to a change in her behavior at home.

Ketchings said she no longer lets the faucet run when she brushes her teeth and she now reuses water bottles instead of buying new bottles of water.

“It’s just a way to save,” she said.

Ketchings isn’t alone in her attempts to change.

Jinal Patel, 17, said she now unplugs appliances that are not in use and has talked her parents into buying energy efficient bulbs for their home as the old ones burn out.

“If everyone helps a little we can get more accomplished,” she said.

Patel and her friend Kaitlyn Mayfield, 18, said they have actually started carpooling when ever possible.

“We just want to be able to do our part,” Mayfield said.

And Stephens has a plan that just might get the entire school to do their part.

Stephens said she hopes to rally her Web design class to put on a day of activities centered around Earth Day.

“If we all get together we can all make changes for the better,” she said.

Stephens said once completed, the Web sites will likely become a link on the school’s Web site.

“They (students) are all very proud of their work,” she said. “And they have done some great work.”