Bethel Park High School rising sophomore Haley Bell won a Gold Medal at the Family Career and Community Leaders of America’s National Conference in Anaheim, Calif.
She earned the award in the Environmental Ambassador category for her communitywide campaign to encourage Bethel Park residents to turn their old garbage cans into rain barrels.
Haley’s project was based on her interest in the concept of “zero waste,” and she was concerned, now that plastic recycling has been limited, about what was going to happen to all of the old plastic trash cans that were being replaced in Bethel Park with new receptacles.
Her solution was to turn the old cans into rain barrels, which not only solves the problem of keeping the containers out of the landfills, but it also provides an environmentally friendly solution to obtaining water for plants, lawns and gardens.
Haley worked with Andy Amrhein at Evey True Value Hardware to create a rain barrel display in the store, complete with brochures explaining how to turn a trash can into a rain barrel in about one hour. She also filmed a segment about this for Bethel Park cable television.
In the spring, Haley earned a Gold Medal at the FCCLA State Competition, which qualified her to compete at Nationals.
She was prepared for the competition by Bethel Park High School family consumer science teacher Jill Simpson.