CHAMPLAIN - The members of Junior Girl Scout Troop 4262 are taking what they've learned about energy conservation and are spreading the word in the community.
Kenna Dumas, leader of the local Junior Girl Scout Troop based in the Champlain-Rouses Point area, said Troop members have been learning about energy from its different forms, how it can be used wisely and what can be done to conserve it.
"Through this, they've actually conducted an energy audit on a local business and suggested solutions for making the building more energy-efficient, wrote a letter to Assemblywoman Janet Duprey to ask the state Department of Education to conduct energy audits on all school buildings, and things like that," said Dumas.
The Scouts also developed a community service "Take Action Plan," said Dumas, which involves educating the public on electronic waste, also known as "E-waste."
When people have things such as old computers, broken or worn out electrical devices or surplus electronic equipment, they're faced with the decision as to what they should do with them, explained Dumas. And, the decision they make can be one that has a direct impact on the environment and the E-waste stream.
"The idea is to reduce, reuse and recycle, so we're not manufacturing a lot of unneccessary new products," said Dumas. "That saves energy and natural resources, creating less pollution. And, we're also not sending our E-waste to other places like China or countries in Africa ... so, actually, it's a global impact."
As part of their education on energy conservation, said Dumas, the Scouts have welcomed guest speakers to their meetings such as Jay Letts from Total Computer Supply in Plattsburgh and Janet McFetridge, a teacher at Northeastern Clinton Central School. Letts discussed E-waste and laws centered on recycling, explained Dumas, and McFetridge spoke about utilizing more recyclable materials and the harmful effects thing like plastic bags can have on the environment.
The result of their education, said Dumas, has been the Scouts developing a more intense focus on doing their part for the environment.
"They're really into the reduce, reuse, recycle effort and saving the planet," said Dumas. "They're excited about doing something to make the world a better place."
And, one way the Scouts have decided they can help is by hosting an electronic waste drive, collecting old electronics, computers, televisions and even batteries to be recycled. The event - to be held Wednesday, May 25 - is one Scouts like Aislyn McDonough and Tabitha Parent feel will help make a difference.
"If they just throw all their electronic waste out, it might go into the ground and ruin the soil," said McDonough. "So, if the farmers try to grow crops, it'll take the nutrition out of the crops and could make people sick."
"Reducing, reusing and recycling waste is good for the land because if you put it in the landfill, the chemicals will go into the land and pollute the groundwater and the water you use to drink," said Parent.
Samantha Disco, also a member of the local Junior Girl Scout Troop, said reducing what's in the earth's waste stream can also help recycling efforts.
"If they were just going to throw [old electronic equipment] out, it'd just be a waste," she said. "But, if they recycle it, [the waste] could be made into something useful."