By Samantha Johnson
“You don’t have to change your entire life to help the world we live in. Picking up a piece of trash one day or spending the ten dollars it takes to get a reusable water bottle can help the earth far more than you know.” -Junior Alana Nyhart
With the celebration of Earth Day on Apr. 22, Wildcats United held an Earth-based spirit week to focus on cutting down use of harmful gaseous, plastic and cotton products. Students across campus ate meat-free meals, carpooled to school and wore thrifted clothes to compete for eco-friendly prizes.
English teacher and Wildcats United club sponsor Samuel Kriegel dove into the implications of Earth Week as far as making Earth-conscious decisions and smaller eco-helpful projects.
“Earth Week is about being conscious of different ways you can take small steps to do better, in terms of conservation and mindfulness as it relates to waste and energy consumption,” Kriegel said. “It’s all just small scale things because if everyone does a small thing it has a bigger impact,” he added.
Kriegel concluded that Wildcats United took on Earth Week not only to serve the ecosystem, but to unite students.
“If you think about the thing that connects us all it’s the Earth,” Kriegel said. “This was something that wasn’t made for one group or another group. Sometimes we have focuses, but this was something we could definitely do to include all people,” he added.
As excitement for Earth Week spread across campus, students picked their Meat-Free Monday meals, carpool partners, waste-free containers and thrifty outfits up to a week in advance.
“[My friend and I] had literally been planning for Earth Week for a couple of weeks,” junior Alan Nyhart said. “I got the flyer from Mr. Kriegel and I immediately showed it to my friend. We are both really into nature and helping the world,” she added.
Students who tweeted #BSHSEarthWeek in combination with tagging @WildcatsUnited were entered into randomized generator for a chance to win prizes. Senior Paige Bennett, who won a metal straw on Waste-free Wednesday, said she would have participated regardless.
“I would’ve [tweeted about] Earth Week anyway. I think it’s important we get involved with our planet and I love how [Wildcats United] came up with fun ways to do that,” Bennett said.
While students enjoyed publicizing their reusable water bottles and tupperware, it was clear Throwback Clothing Thursday was a fan favorite. In a world of fast fashion and fads, Nyhart explained how thrifting is her cup of tea.
“I honestly go to the thrift store three or four times a week, which I know sounds like I’m exaggerating, but I swear I’m not. I just love finding unique pieces that you can’t get at an everyday chain clothing store,” Nyhart said.
With the use of plastics constantly discussed as a threat to the planet, Kriegel expanded on how plastic products play roles in our everyday lives.
“Our plastic consumption, and single use plastic consumption, is a big deal. If you go to the cafeteria you would see so much plastic being thrown away every day,” Kriegel said. “Or even if you go to a restaurant the numerous plastic straws in use,” he added.
Nyhart shared her final thoughts on how her peers can incorporate eco-friendly habits, like thrifting, into their routine.
“You don’t have to change your entire life to help the world we live in. Picking up a piece of trash one day or spending the ten dollars it takes to get a reusable water bottle can help the earth far more than you know,” Nyhart said.