In August, East became the first high school in the district to develop a composting program in order to cut down on waste created by students in the lunchroom and around the school. Recently the Environmental Club entered the Us vs. Waste campaign with the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) in order to improve the composting program and raise awareness for climate change.
Before winter break, the club met with ACE representative Jessie Fischer to discuss ways they could improve the program by working with ACE and educating students throughout East about climate change. After that first meeting they met with her several other times over break and during their meetings held after school on Wednesdays.
“As the environmental club, anything we can do locally to improve the environment we would love to do,” the club’s vice president sophomore Clara Ma, said.
ACE is an organization that was started to raise awareness for climate change among students and to support student efforts to fight it. The organization presents assemblies to schools across the country and holds national campaigns like Us vs. Waste that get students educated and inspired to combat global warming and climate change.
The Us vs. Waste campaign is composed of five projects: Keep it Going, Speak Up, Trash Bash, Bleacher Buster and Lunch against Landfill. East’s Environmental Club has chosen to specifically focusing on two projects, Lunch Against Landfill, a project geared towards composting, and Speak Up, a project focused on education.
The Environmental Club has chosen to focus more of their energy on Speak Up because it is designed to raise awareness and educate students about composting and waste reduction as they believe it will have the greatest benefit on their already existing program. The goal is to show students all the things that can be composted and recycled, so that very few items are left to be thrown away.
According to Fischer, East is serving as both a leader and an example through their composting program.
“East has already been successful,” Fischer said “[ACE] wants to make them even more successful. We want to train these leaders to be a part of this movement to fight climate change.”
Ma also believes that East can make a difference through its composting program. She feels that it is a cause everyone should try to get involved in.
“Earth is the planet that we live on and without it we wouldn’t be who we are,” Ma said. “It is incredibly important, it’s imperative that we do everything we can to respect our home.”
The club also has the opportunity to win prizes like online gift certificates or resources that can help support waste reduction. According to Fischer, the prizes are fun but not the main motivation for the students at East.
“They do it because they really care about climate change and taking action against it,” Fischer said. “They create the future they want to see for themselves.”