Eco Hero finalist Alex Pereda

Immaculate Conception School

Published On: Mar 25 2013 07:55:56 AM EDT

Alex Pereda, 12, is proud of his school. So when he saw a problem on campus, he set out to fix it.

"When I first came to the school, I saw a lot of trash on the school grounds and recess filed, so I thought I needed some people to help me clean it up. I started a club and called it the Eco Club.

Read: Alex's Nomination

Today, the Eco Club that Alex founded has more than 30 enthusiastic members who keep their school clean and also reach out to the community, participating in events like the National Coastal Clean Up.
Alex is passionate about preserving the beauty of the world around him.

"If you make a place suitable for life to live in, it becomes a lot more beautiful and it adds inspiration to a place," Alex said.

At school, the 7th grader's recycling suggestions save his school $1,000 a month in trash pick up costs.

In fact, Alex's recycling efforts even raise money by recycling toner used in the school.

A butterfly garden will also be coming soon to an empty area of the school.

Alex says they are going to remodel, put in plants and new rocks and add butterflies.

He says he wants the butterfly garden to be his legacy at Immaculate Conception School, a beautiful reminder to future students about the importance of going green.

"The kids will maybe stop by, sit at one of the tables and see the animals," Alex says. "And maybe be inspired to start their own club and help the environment in whatever way they can."