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Boys and Girls Club starts green initiative

Photo by Carlos Vergara

Photo by Carlos Vergara

CONYERS -- Rockdale County youth will soon be learning ways to use energy more efficiently in a new going-green initiative.

The A.R. "Gus" Barksdale Boys and Girls Club of Rockdale County recently entered a partnership with the Ecopreneur Council of the Atlanta Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce. AMBCC representatives held a launch ceremony Wednesday.

Project coordinator Melonie Hill said the initiative is designed to help children became better stewards of their environment and implement new education in their households.

"Our goal is that they become excited about recycling and being stewards of their environment," Hill said.

Going green leads to self-sufficiency and strengthens communities, according to Hill.

Organizers have set three phases of the initiative, with the first phase to roll out immediately.

The first phase includes an introduction, training and information sessions for children and families. Garden area improvements to the local Boys and Girls Club, reusing rainwater and replacing lights with LED lights are part of the second phase. The final phase includes improving the gym heating and air system and improving natural light filtration indoors.

"We love to start with our youth. If they can grow up thinking about sustainability ... we can really make an impact as the years go by in our future," said Markee Tate of the Ecopreneur Council.

Michael Hill, AMBCC president, said a green initiative creates jobs if it expands out to the community. Hill pointed to biodiesal and ethanol.

Hill presented several maps of pathways to green careers.

"It's a simple thing," Hill said. "These are opportunities that will create jobs now."