Three Monroe students have won prizes in the second annual “Living Evergreen” contest sponsored by Allied Waste and Snohomish County. The students wrote essays reflecting on the use of renewable energies and how to improve and expand use in their communities and the state. Monroe winners are:
Katelyn Keelen, junior, Sky Valley Education Center – First Place, High School
Luke Meader, 7th grade, Hidden River Middle School – Second Place, Middle School
Danika Cole, 6th grade, Park Place Middle School – Third Place, Middle School
Keelen first learned about environmental issues from her parents and at school, and it made an impression. She drives a Prius Hybrid and composts her horses’ manure for local growers. She is also involved with recycling at school and home.
“I urge people to use permanent water bottles, and my friends and I all use stainless steel water bottles,” she says. She wrote about the current use of hydro power, solar energy, and wind power in Washington and how increasing and improving those energy sources can reduce the use of fossil fuels in our state and nation.
Meader’s first memory of awareness of environmental issues was in the 4th grade when a teacher taught a unit on salmon hatching, and how pollution was affecting salmon runs.
“It made me aware of using resources and disposing of them correctly,” he says. His essay is also about the current systems in use and how the use of renewable and reusable resources could make the world green.
Cole’s essay is about what Washington is doing to use renewable energy, and the different ways people in the community can make the planet “more green”.
“It’s really easy to do something,” she says. “You can recycle something instead of throwing it away, or turn off a light. Just try and do something.”
“These students wrote straight from the heart,” says Joe Casalini, Director of Business Development for Allied Waste, co-sponsor of the contest. “Washington’s future in renewable energies is something they truly think about and incorporate into their lives every day. It validates everything we do to promote green living to see our youth with such thoughtfulness about our environment.”
“The essay contest is a great way to get young people thinking about renewable energy and ways to improve our environment. We were very impressed with the knowledge and creative ideas expressed in the winning essays this year,” comments Snohomish County Council Chair Dave Somers. Snohomish County co-sponsors the contest.