Putting the "Art" in "Earth"
Green Academy, Berkeley High School
School Contact Information
Tyshaun B., Green Academy, Berkeley High School, Berkeley
I’ve got a creative mind—the best way for me to express myself is through art. I sing, write, and draw, and I want to find ways to bring the environment into my love of art.
Your Environmental Story
Share an experience you've had as a child or young adult that shaped your environmental values or behaviors (time in nature, play, a school project, a teacher, a mentor?) What inspired you to care?
When I was much younger, I used to litter all the time. I would eat Snickers bars and put the wrappers in fences, but one day the police caught me and told me that I could be fined for littering even though I was young. That scared me, so I stopped littering, although I didn’t know at the time why it was such a bad thing to do. As I grew older, I learned more about environmental issues like sustainability and water pollution in school, which changed my perspective on things like littering and made me realize that we should care about and protect our Earth because our future depends on it.
How do you make an environmental difference at your school or in your community? What motivated you to take action or change your behaviors?
I really don’t like littering, and I tell other people not to litter when I see them doing it. It bugs me a lot when people just throw their trash on the ground because it makes me think that they don’t care at all about the environment.
Did any experiences or teachers at school influence your environmental values or behaviors? If Yes, what & why? If No, what and why not?
The Green Academy and Ms. Trimlett, my Environmental Science teacher, are mainly what have inspired me to care about the environment. Green Academy was originally my second choice, since I wanted to go into AHA (the Arts and Humanities Academy) but I ended up here. I decided to stay with it because I liked the people in the program, and I realized that I do like learning about the environment because it is our future. One of the coolest projects we’ve done was creating a scale model of a house, with the goal of making it as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible. We had to consider energy sources, like solar panels, as well as what kind of materials to use and how to design the house for maximum energy efficiency. The project was a lot of fun. I learned all about how to make buildings more efficient and make them use less energy, which also made me think about how much more energy buildings use if they aren’t designed to be energy-efficient.
What would you most like to share with other students?
Think before you litter, and then don’t do it! Trash doesn’t just disappear when you throw it on the ground. Litter finds its way into the ocean, and the trash and pollution in the ocean does a lot of damage to the creatures who live there.
What do you hope to do next? How do you stay inspired?
I’m into art, so I want to find a creative way to put messages about the environment into my work. I’ve drawn some posters that show people picking up trash and posters telling people to recycle and re-use, and I put them up around the school to educate people. I plan to study art in college, and I want to create billboards and posters or design advertisements that persuade people to get eco-friendly.