EGHS students go green to make green in entrepreneurship challenge
It is an all too common situation. Having just bought a bottle of (insert favorite drink here), you now have an empty can in your hand after gulping it down. As you make your way to the nearest recycling it dawns on you that you have absolutely no clue if the bottle is even recyclable to begin with.
Taking the chance to plop it in the recycling anyway, even with the best motivations in mind, can result in recycling contamination. This does more harm than good as it often results in the whole batch of recycling becoming unusable. Still, if you put it in the trash you run the risk of ending the new life the bottle could have had. This was once a lose-lose gambling game, but maybe, as two students from East Greenwich High School noticed, it does not have to be.
Alexa Beaulieu and Will Casey entered Mrs. Page’s entrepreneurship class last spring not knowing much about business. The class was given the task of creating a product and company outline. The duo had been randomly paired together but despite this they were able to collaborate well. “We were all kinda thrown in a group together,” said Will, “and even though we didn’t know each other we were able to come together to make a pretty good business.”
Their product is called Green Scan, a phone app with this tagline: “Saving the Earth one scan at a time.” The app’s purpose is to make it simple to figure out whether a bag, box, can, or bottle is actually recyclable. With one scan of the container’s bar code, users would be able to see if it belongs in the trash, recycling, or if it should be brought to a special facility to be disposed of.
Making the business plan was a lengthy process, but it resulted in feelings of pride for what they created. “It’s very cool to use a passion of yours and turn it into something that would help the environment because this was all based on a shared passion to make the Earth a greener place,” said Beaulieu.
Mrs. Page had mentioned the Lieutenant Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge in class but the pair did not intend on entering at first. “It was a very last-minute thing,” Beaulieu said. “But honestly with this type of thing you can spend countless hours and still wish you did more.” After taking a chance and entering their product, they were chosen to present their product to a panel of judges. Feeling confident in the work they had done so far, they were able to show the passion they have for their product and walk away with the second place trophy.
Both of them credit their success to trusting in themselves and their teacher’s advice. “Mrs. Page was a great mentor,” said Will, “She did so much to help us develop our business plan.” While being able to place in a statewide competition leaves no small impact on them, just taking the class itself to change their view on business, and sparked a new interest in both of them. As Alexa said, “It was such a great experience and I hope others take this class and submit their business plan for the challenge too. You never really know how it’s going to turn out – I know we were surprised.”