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Evergreen elementary school helps students learn about sustainability

Cool Schools: The Green Team Superheroes program was created to teach students about recycling, reducing and reusing.

EVERGREEN, Colo. — Wilmot Elementary School started a sustainability program to help save them energy and money.

Lisa Dewil created the Green Team Superheroes program to teach students about recycling, reducing and reusing. The superheroes are made up of fourth- and fifth-grade students who want to lead the school in reducing its carbon footprint.

“They are already very aware that there is global warming and there is climate change and that they see what’s happening,” Dewil said. “We want to make sure that we’re leaving the world as a better place for generations, and we’re starting here with the Green Team Superheroes.”

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Credit: Green Team Superheroes

Each Green Team Superhero is assigned a classroom to lead and monitor while delivering presentations. They wear green superhero capes while teaching their classmates how they can make an impact with saving energy.

“They are switching off lights, they are taking light bulbs out of the ceiling, they’re unplugging unnecessary devices," Dewil said. "It’s that trickledown effect that if you make one small change and then share it with the next person, then they can make that small change.”

Credit: Green Team Superheroes

Dewil launched the program in 2019, when the superheroes started conducting light usage audits in which teachers took out one-third to two-thirds of their lightbulbs.

“We ended up saving the school $2,300 in energy expenses that has translated across the whole school,” she said. “These are all tools that they’re learning at a young age that if they make these small simple changes and go out in the world and continue to make bigger and bigger changes … that together we can make a difference.”

“We don’t want to give up because if we give up, then our Earth might not be very clean,” said fifth-grade superhero Kayla Dewil. “We want to make sure we breathe in clean air and keep the Earth green.”

Kayla is Lisa’s daughter and said it's important for more people to learn more about saving the planet.

“That way, our Earth can stay at a good amount of temperature instead of really hot,” Kayla said.

Credit: Green Team Superheroes

The Green Team Superheroes have received the President's Environmental Youth Award given by both the president of the United States and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to recognize outstanding environmental projects by K-12 youth. They’ve also won the highest Eco-Schools USA award.

“This is one of the best projects I’ve ever worked on,” Lisa Dewil said. “It just kind of started as a small idea here at Wilmot, and we’ve gotten a lot of great feedback.”

Credit: Green Team Superheroes

Both mom and daughter agree that the program has been a big hit with Kayla's classmates by teaching them lifelong lessons to help save the day.

“It just really helps the Earth when you are a Green Team Superhero,” Kayla said.

Click here for more information: https://www.greenteamsuperheroes.com/.

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