Carlmont’s Green Team sorts through global issues


Edrick Wong

Aran O’ Sullivan plants garlic for the Green Team’s hydroponics project.

Every day our world becomes increasingly uninhabitable with pollution, climate change, and waste.

As the recent International Internet Preservation Consortium report stated, “it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the global climate system since pre-industrial times.” Carlmont’s Green Team is doing their best to help environmental issues in and out of campus.

While the world emphasizes climate change in general, specific issues in the environment also involve conserving water, biodiversity, and limiting pollution, all things that the Green Team strives to improve on.

“Some current events include working on a garden space, bringing compost bins back to Carlmont, encouraging team members to join different events such as habitat restorations or attending climate rallies, and more,” said Natalie Su, a sophomore on the Green Team.

One of their recent projects has been conserving water by working on the aquaponics system at Phoenix Garden in San Mateo. 

“An aquaponics system is basically like alternative planting. The plants are suspended over water, instead of having to continuously water and soil the plant,” said Aran O’ Sullivan, the vice president of the team.

Matt Burgos gives a presentation on upcoming events to the team during their weekly meeting. (Micah Cheng)

Even though water conservation is helpful for the community, the team finds that the biggest issue in Carlmont is waste.

“A lot of our waste isn’t sorted right now, especially from the cafeteria. People get free lunches every day, but they don’t put their trash in the right bins,” said Matt Burgos, co-president of the team.

All the wasted compost in the trash cans eventually ends up in the landfill, and students also put their trash in the compost bins.

The team tries to prevent trash in the compost by sorting the compost bins around campus monthly, though the Green Team feels that students need to do more to solve this problem.

“You need to put the right trash in the right bins, it’s not that hard. There’s a big sign on it, put soiled paper, plants, food scraps in the compost, not your plastic utensils,” said Tyler Peng, a junior on the Green Team.

As much as the team tries to help out with crucial issues with our planet, they also believe that others can help in many ways. Peng believes the environment heavily relies on the power of the government and not just individual actions like sorting your waste or limiting water usage.

“It’s important that we do our part, but also important to lobby representatives in government. They do a lot of votes, and you’re not going to have real change unless there’s change in policy and government,” Peng said.