Students Want Proper Earth Day

Students suggest options to celebrate Earth Day

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Photo by Elle Polychronis

Junior Emerson Franks poses with a styrofoam cup. Emerson opposes the use of styrofoam in the cafeteria.

Avid fisherman junior Thomas Peinado knows all too well how pollution affects his passion. 

“I was on Lake Ray Hubbard one time, and I turned into a cove and found plastic bottles and trash floating,” Peinado said. “People take nature for granted.”

Mismanaged trash can harm physical habitats, transport chemical pollutants, threaten aquatic life and interfere with marine and coastal environments according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

The 71 Percent, a group dedicated to educating Indiana citizens on water, says when chemicals and waste enter waterways, they deplete the oxygen fish need to survive.  

Peinado’s observation of pollution affects his passion and his urgency he feels for how the school could better commemorate Earth Day in the future. 

April 22 marked the 51st anniversary of this globally celebrated holiday that promotes the preservation of the Earth’s finite natural resources, but neither the Student Council or any clubs  host an event for Earth Day.  

One proposed way of increasing the school’s involvement in celebrating the day is by spreading awareness of environmental issues the community faces.

“I think the school should present a video or send it out showing simple steps that allow you to learn how to help out the environment,” Peinado said. 

In addition to this, Peinado believes that offering incentives would increase participation in Earth Day.

Junior Ella Daugherty also says she wishes the school would educate students on how we should take care of the planet. 

“We should hold assemblies dedicated to educating the students on what we can do to help persevere the planet,” Daugherty said. 

Junior Emerson Franks believes kids should be knowledgeable about Earth because it directly affects our future. 

“I think we need to educate kids on the climate crisis, even though it’s controversial right now,” Franks said. “We need to talk about what the climate crisis even is, how it affects us, and how we can try to stop it because I feel like a lot of kids don’t even know what it is.”

Daugherty also encourages her peers to be more active in environmental projects by volunteering for cleanups in the community and incorporating more sustainable products into everyday use. 

Another idea students had to commemorate Earth Day in the school was to support eliminating Styrofoam and other wasteful products in the school. There are 5.76 billion Styrofoam school trays used each year in the U.S., according to home for foam an online resource that supports the growth of recycling Styrofoam. Collier County Florida notes that Styrofoam products fill up 25% to 30% of landfills around the world and are not biodegradable. 

Junior Alli Grace Ott believes Earth Day should emphasize masks and how they have similarly become a risk to the environment. 

The Conversation, an independent news organization, says that the majority of masks are manufactured from long-lasting plastic materials, which means it can have long lasting effects in the environment for decades. 

Ott stresses that people should be responsible for disposing of masks properly because it has a massive impact on animals. The Conversation notes that even if animals don’t choke on masks, they could be malnourished due to the lack of nutrients found in masks. 

The Food and Drug Administration recommends discarding masks by placing used masks into a plastic bag and throwing it away to prevent negative effects on the planet and its inhabitants. 

Another idea to commemorate Earth day is by organizing groups to do different clean-up activities.

“We could set up sign-up groups for the day to do different clean-up activities like picking up trash or sorting recycling,” Ott said.

Junior and future Executive Council President Ava Tiffany says she hopes to implement an Earth Day awareness week in conjunction with clubs. 

“We could educate students about how they can be more eco-friendly and support a cleaner, greener world,” Tiffany said.   

Above all, Ott emphasizes that protecting the earth right now is crucial because it is getting worse every day.

“I saw a quote that said, ‘The earth is what we all have in common,’” Ott said. “The truth to this statement is apparent because we all live on this planet, and no matter what difference of opinions we have, it is necessary to protect it.”