Cool T-Shirt Leads to Green Day In Kentucky
This spring, Kentucky school teacher and Sierra Club volunteer Su-hwa "Winny" Lin organized a "Go Green Day" (above) at Tamarack Elementary School in Owensboro, where she teaches third grade. "It all started when I wore my Sierra Club "Be Cool, Go Green" t-shirt to school," says Lin (below left, in front row). "My assistant principal saw it and said, 'That's cool—where can I get one?'"
Lin had gotten her shirt from Sierra Club organizer and fellow Owensboro resident Aloma Dew, who'd printed them up in connection with her work with the Club's Cool Cities campaign. Armed with a fresh batch, Lin "sold" 20 shirts in one day to fellow faculty and school custodians for a $5 donation, with all proceeds going to the Sierra Club.
"Everybody loved the design, with Owensboro identified in the context of the western hemisphere," she says. "Now nearly the entire school staff has bought the shirt for themselves, their class, or their own kids. And best of all, they bought into the idea of 'Go Green, Tamarack.'"
With Dew's help, Lin organized a daylong program of videos, talks, and demonstrations from community volunteers on a wide range of environmental topics, including a presentation by beekeeper and local Sierra Club member Carol Mark and a talk about bicycling by Pennyrile Group Outings Chair Donnie Mayton. The City of Owensboro brought its new hybrid car, and students held a parade featuring costumes and floats they'd made out of recycled materials.
"Go Green, Tamarack" was accompanied by a weeklong focus on the environment at the school. Third graders interviewed custodians about how much trash the school generated; fourth graders planted a cherry tree and flower beds after studying plants; and fifth graders came up with a Top 10 List of ways to go green at Tamarack.
The event ended up promoting environmental awareness not just at the school, but in the broader community as well. "The local newspaper put us on the front page," Lin says. "I think we've started a "Go Green" movement in Owensboro!"