Jarring displays, terrible facts and appalling images. These are just some of the ways that Neuqua Valley’s Environmental club is trying to raise awareness about the horrors of mistreating the environment. At last week’s meeting, the club focused on ways to save the ocean. Kaitlyn Backe, who led the meeting alongside sponsor Ms. Schneider, talked about ways to save the ocean from not polluting to donating to organizations that help clean out the garbage in the ocean.
Aside from their concerns about. the ocean, a big part of Environmental club is based on working with the student body to take better care and concern with how they throw out their trash and “recycling.” Many people do not have a clear understanding on what is and what is not recyclable, and these errors are voiding what the school is able to recycle. For example, tossing out food packages (chips, cookies, drink containers) into the recycling bin nulls the entire bin’s contents from being recycled. The janitors, who work after schooling emptying the bins, are not responsible for sorting through the trash, so Backe wants to make sure people understand their responsibility to the school and to the environment.
Students may have noticed their display near the lower B halls; plastic water bottles littering the entire display case. They were collected by the club’s members during just one after school meeting, bringing to light the severity of the issue at Neuqua Valley. Environmental club has some other big displays and events in store for later this school year and in the fall of next year. In the spring, Backe and the rest of the club want to show off a new display, “not one that you can just walk by, but one that students have to interact with.” The plan is to collect even more water bottles, which are plentiful around NVHS, and put them into a display in the rotunda. Surrounded by facts and images of the effects of actions on the environment, the Environmental club wants to make a statement that will leave students thinking twice about how they throw garbage away.
As a fundraiser and to raise even more awareness, the club plans to sell reusable straws to students, keeping the non-recyclable, pollutant out of the trash and out of the school. Many students may not know that the plastic straw in all of their favorite drinks are not made of the same plastic that makes other plastic items recyclable. The Environmental club hopes to help keep the Earth a little cleaner through the sale of these sustainable straws. Alongside the environmental benefits, the club hopes to raise money to fund other projects and displays.
Story by Alya Khan