The fourth grade class at Watertown’s Atrium School has saved a few hundred trees and counting.
We're here to change some margins!
Guided by teacher Norah Dooley, the class calculated if everyone in the US narrowed their margins, it could save 6,156,000 trees a year.
"I think people just don’t know how to do it….but it’s easy’" said Isabel Daley, 9, part of the Green 13.
The class, which is also studying government and the right to petition, got their school to change their margins. Then they went to the Massachusetts Statehouse to lobby various state representatives and Gov. Deval Patrick. While they were there, the kids showed some legislative staff how to change their margins.
Next, they went to Cambridge to lobby Mayor E. Denise Simmons.
When they got there, she gave them a gold stamp sealed resolution admiring the class for the idea and gave them a verbal promise to look into it. This week, Malden city officials went further: A memo went out to staff urging them to change the margins.
A brief rest
The class got a nice letter back from Gov. Patrick, but no commitment. They are hoping he changes his mind. They are waiting on other state legislators.
"A lot of other people who are older than us do these things, but it feels good to have this much impact when we are young,’" said Asha Densmore, 9.
"Thankfully ideas are never bound to the age of the people creating them,’" wrote Anthony Rodrigues, director of Information Technology for Malden wrote in his memo urging staff to change margins.
Granted, changing margins is a small step in helping slow global warming. But it comes with a big lesson: Everyone can make a difference. Even 13 nine-year-old kids.
About the green blog
Helping Boston live a greener, more environmentally friendly life.
Christopher Reidy covers business for the Globe.
Doug Struck covers environmental issues from Boston.
Glenn Yoder produces Boston.com's Lifestyle pages.
Eric Bauer is site architect of Boston.com.
Bennie DiNardo is the Boston Globe's deputy managing editor/multimedia.
Dara Olmsted is a local sustainability professional focusing on green living.