Some of Austin's youngest residents are working to make their schools a little bit greener. Their efforts are catching the attention of Keep Austin Beautiful and the Longhorn Recycling Roundup.
Through the Good Sports Always Recycle initiative, community partners want to recognize school campuses across Austin that are working to make their school a more environmentally friendly place.
Students in the PALS Leadership class at Fulmore Middle School are continuing on with their green efforts after winning the rookie recycling award last year.
"We never miss a spot," explained Efren Vasquez, an 8th grader at FMS. Efren and his classmates divide and conquer campus each week collecting recycling from every classroom.
"We're trying to make it a green school so it will be better for the environment," Norma Pompa said. She's part of the team leading the way on campus.
"When you have 1000 students on campus you have the opportunity to impact the habits and the way people see things and relate to them for the next 60 or 70 years," Shaun Hopkins said. Hopkins teaches the leadership class where students do far more than recycle. They lead the schools No Place for Hate effort and work to beautify campus.
Hopkins and his students plan on submitting an entry for this year's competition.
"From here on out there's an expectation that we are going to keep this campus green but we have to go beyond that and we plan on doing that," Hopkins said.
Monica Lopez Magee with Keep Austin Beautiful says students make great ambassadors for going green. "We're finding that students know the answers. It's about creating habits and integrating the habits in schools and taking that home," she said.
"Since we start this early we can keep doing it the rest of our lives," Brenda Martinez, an 8th grader said.
"If I see a piece of paper in the trash, when no one is looking I just pick it up and move it," said 7th grader Sammy Rocha, smiling.
Winners get up to $500 to improve their campuses and will be recognized on the field during the Texas vs. Kansas State game. The deadline for entries is October 12th.
FOX 7 sponsors the Longhorn Recycling Roundup.