Green High Schools Challenge encourages environmental awareness


Kathy Fang

Green Team members Karen Krause (11), Satchi Thockchom (12) and Anvi Banga (10) announce the results of this year’s Bay Area High Schools Challenge.

by Vivian Jin, Reporter

Upper school students recently participated in the Green High Schools Challenge against Pinewood School and The Nueva Upper School for Green Team’s Club Week.

The challenge, implemented through JouleBug’s app, Shine, started at 8:00 a.m. on Apr. 16 and lasted until 12:00 p.m. on Ap. 23. Students who joined the challenge had one week to make a free account, log their environment-conserving activities and earn points for their school.

According to the official joulebug website, lots of apps do well; JouleBug does good. The app developers started JouleBug to make sustainable living social, simple, and actually fun.

Shine provided a comprehensive list of eco-friendly actions such as “Reusable Water Bottle,” “Turn Off the Lights” and “Compost,” among many others. Students contributed to the school point totals by clicking the “Log Action” button and taking an optional picture of the action.

According to JouleBug, many of the most popular activities provided benefits on multiple levels, saving energy, water and money. The app showed users the impact of their actions with estimated statistics.

“Some of the [actions I performed] were composting, recycling, walking somewhere and carpooling,” Pramiti said. “I already did most of these things. This app just made me aware that i was helping earth. It incentivized me to, right now, when the challenge is over, continue to do that. It was a really good way to get more people green at Harker.”

Harker students reduced around 13,000 pounds of carbon dioxide out of a total 39,000 between all three schools, diverted 931 pounds of waste out of 2,900 total and saved 15,000 gallons of water out of 47,000 total.

Pinewood won the Green High Schools Challenge with 4201 points, Harker came in second with 4185 and Nueva finished with 382. Within Harker, the senior class had the most points, freshmen second, juniors third and sophomores fourth.

For individuals, Jessica Wang (12) was the highest-scoring individual and biology teacher Jeff Sutton was the highest-scoring faculty member. Kristin LeBlanc (12), Ashley Jia (11), Gloria Zhang (10) and Pramiti Sankar (9) were the highest individuals for their respective grades.