The La Ballona Green Club is making a difference in the neighborhood. The club, made up of elementary school students, walked from La Ballona Elementary School to the Culver Center, picking up all the trash they could carry.
Julia Taslimi, teacher advisor for the Student Council and Green Club spearheads the group.
“Our purpose it to raise community awareness that the trash on the streets is so huge in quantity, and all of it is 100% preventable. Almost all of the trash strewn about the streets is from fast food restaurants, and convenience stores,” she said. “These places ought to be held more accountable for their products ending up blighting the community.”
The La Ballona Green Club has volunteered to decorate local fast food restaurants with their hand-made placards, written and drawn by fourth and fifth grade students to encourage customers to “Throw your trash away”—and “In a can, not the streets” with a demonstrative picture and a polite “Thank you”
Leo Maximo, the Student Council President, and the other student officers went into the Culver Center restaurants to ask the managers if they could put up their table signs. They were giddy and noticeably nervous.
The rest of the students stayed behind, but not idly— the kids are very passionate about their work. They lined up peeking through the windows, happy to encourage each other and work together.
On the way back to school, the group took a different route and passed a particularly littered street. What followed was a series of cries of “Oh my gosh.” and “Oh, the horror.”
I was asked why people would litter so much if they could get caught by the police and get a ticket. I admitted that the police are often busy with other things, so people don’t really get into too much trouble. She said that they still shouldn’t litter, and she certainly never would.
Taslimi explained that the students work and clean around the school to earn the opportunity to go on trips like this one. I asked some of the students why they wanted to be a part of the club and why it was important to them. They answered with simplicity— they wanted to make the world beautiful and healthy for their future.