Kelly Mullooly at home with her composting bin in Massapequa...

Kelly Mullooly at home with her composting bin in Massapequa Park.  Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

Massapequa High School senior Kelly Mullooly is on a mission to make composting cool.

Mullooly, 17, recently spearheaded a “Kid Komposting” project in which she educated about 100 third graders at her district’s Birch Lane Elementary School as well as three local Girl Scout troops on what can and cannot be composted and how waste reduction can benefit the environment.

She also showed the elementary schoolers and scouts how to create their own compost bins for use at home by having them bring in an empty container and food scraps such as banana peels and coffee grounds. She provided the composting soil.

“I just want them to see that their actions do matter and they can have good consequences,” said Mullooly, who pursued the project as part of her Gold Award, the highest achievement attainable with the Girl Scouts of the USA. “By making the effort to care about the environment through composting they can really take charge and make a difference.”

Mullooly’s mission to help the environment actually goes back to her own days as a student at Birch Lane. As a fifth grader, she said she participated in a “No Trash Tuesdays” project with her Girl Scout troop, in which they encouraged the use of reusable containers for lunch every Tuesday.

“I wanted to continue working on projects that had a similar goal of helping the environment,” said Mullooly, a member of Girl Scout Troop 2524.

Prior to her presentations at Birch Lane, Mullooly said she received approval from the school’s principal, Stephen Aspetti, as well as STEAM and Magnet program teacher Kelsey Downey, who was her mentor for the endeavor. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math. The Magnet program is designed to bring academically gifted students together to promote a higher level of thinking, according to district officials.

“Kelly understands that the earlier we begin to recognize and have a hands-on role in protecting our environment, the more likely we are to adopt these practices into our everyday lives,” Downey said. “She hopes that teaching the third graders about composting now is just a small step toward them becoming passionate about conservation and protecting our environment.”

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