CSUSB teaches hundreds of high school students to "go green"

1 ton of carbon dioxide blown-up

CSUSB environment expo

PALM DESERT, Calif. - Hundreds of local high school students learned a little more about "going green" as part of the third annual environmental and sustainability expo at the Cal State San Bernardino Palm Desert Campus.

An organization called Green Life set up a 37-foot balloon to show hundreds of Coachella Valley high school students what 1 ton of carbon dioxide emissions really looks like.

They say the average person in California is responsible for 12 tons of carbon emissions per year. Coachella Valley residents are responsible for 9 tons each.

Students from all three Coachella Valley districts from grades six through 12 attended the event to learn how to become more environmentally conscious.

Greg Pettis works for the Institute of Environmental Sustainability and said they had a great turnout.

"Last year we had 100 students, we had 400 this year so we are thrilled with the excitement that's here and the interest in the school districts," said Pettis.

Miguel Gutierrez is an intern with Green For Life a company that works with the Coachella Valley Association of Governments and Ecomotion.

They decided to take the "Emissions time-bomb" to the expo.

"It's a good feeling to know that you're trying to make a difference out there," said Gutierrez.

Susanna Romig also works with Green For Life.

"It's a great visual tool to kind of make an impact and make people aware that we're actually putting a lot into the air we just can't see what we're doing," said Romig.

Pettis also said the school districts were able to attend the event free.

"This money has been raised by the university from outside sources. They paid for transportation, they paid for substitute teachers so that these kids and their teachers get to come and stay with them throughout the whole day," said Pettis.

People like Romig said the event can have a huge impact on the students.

"A lot of students don't drive yet so we can encourage them to do things like ride their bicycles, roller-blade, walk a lot more," said Romig.

And as they look forward to next year's expo, organizers said we can our part by "saving a ton" using less water, planting trees in the community, driving less and even turning off the lights when you're not using them.


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