This is a guest post by Tara Chattoraj, sophomore at Wheaton Warrenville South High School.
Earth Week is here and it’s time to get moving! Earth Day goes hand in hand with Earth Week, and with the easy publicity provided by newspapers and tons of other organizations, this is your chance to really go big with the environment.
So what can your club do to make an impact? Start with awareness: posters, short presentations in science classes or study halls, announcements… the possibilities are endless! Even a green party just to celebrate your club would be nice – and team-building no less! Then broaden it out to publicize your club and embrace your school – personalize it! Spirit days, themed days of the week, DOTs, Nike ReUse A Shoe, Scarce, fundraising… get creative! Want to make an even bigger blast? Join up with other clubs, from fashion club to math team – there are plenty of overlapping interests you can cultivate to benefit both groups. A greenest outfit competition; awareness for multiple clubs; volunteering to save the environment and get some hours… anything goes. A great place to get the word out is at lunches: try a DOT campaign, sell reusable water bottles, or have a raffle in the name of the environment (but get permission first! I know clubs that have made that mistake! =). More likely than not people will stop by and learn a little bit about the environment – and that’s what it’s all about in the end, right?
Earth Week, though traditionally recognized the week before Earth Day (April 22nd, making Earth Week THIS WEEK!) can also be celebrated the week after, like my school is, depending on educational schedules. So here’s the good news if you haven’t started planning: you’ve still got plenty of time to plan something great! Make some posters and schedule a spot on the announcements, and I’ll bet that the number of people in your high school who know about Earth Week will double (at the very least). Add some environmental tips (turning off the lights when you’re out of the room, opening the windows instead of powering up the AC, recycling, turning off the monitor when not using a computer, etc.), and you’ll have a greener community in no time.
And don’t forget, Arbour Day is coming up too (though the date varies by community). A single tree will absorb a whole ton of carbon dioxide during its lifetime – what better way to celebrate the environment than to help it? Many towns even have their own celebrations, and in some (like mine, lucky me! =) they even give out free trees, snacks, and other such goodies. Let me tell you a secret: free food is the way to a high schooler’s attention. Trust me, it works every time. So advertise your city’s, environmental club’s, or your own celebration, and watch the world turn a little bit greener!
Remember: earth week is all about awareness and the community, so whatever you end up doing, make sure that everyday people are learning about they can help the environment. Good luck with this environmentally conscious month, and I hope you can really do some good around you!
The Wheaton Warrenville South Action Team created this video in honor of Earth Hour 2012: