Eighth grader urges officials to cut carbon footprint

HOPING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Astumbo Middle School eighth grader Keisha May Ayson met with Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero. Ayson asked the governor if more can be done at school campuses to decrease our carbon footprint. Photo courtesy Office of the Governor

Keisha May Ayson an eighth grader at Astumbo Middle School with an eye on the environment and the island's future is calling on the island's elected officials to help the school system.

Ayson had written a letter to the governor asking that more be done at school campuses to decrease the carbon footprint.

"I recently heard that schools are deciding to ban metal water bottles and selling plastic water bottles. I feel that they should not do this because it promotes the use of plastic which will end up in the ocean, harming the sea life," she wrote to the governor.

While Ayson noted that she understands officials' concerns that students could use metal bottles to sneak contrabands to school campuses, she calls for other options.

Ayson raised this and other issues with Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero. During the meeting, she suggested that schools install refillable water bottle fountains, use more fresh produce in school lunches, and reduce the use of plastic when serving meals.

“I commend kids like Keisha for reaching out to policymakers and reminding us that our actions affect their futures. My administration is committed to building a greener, more sustainable Guam — not only for ourselves but for future generations,” the governor said.

The Leon Guerrero-Tenorio administration supports green initiatives, including the Zero Waste Initiative Plan, the Climate Change Commission and Coral Reef Task Force.

At the school level, the governor has tasked the Guam Economic Development Authority and the Guam Department of Agriculture to work with farmers and the Guam Department of Education (GDOE) for a Farm to School program, which will introduce local produce to the menu.

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