Green Initiative focuses on environment

George Sproul Opinion Editor

Discussing ideas for their group T-shirt design, senior Chloe Zarp meets in the senior commons with East’s Green Initiative club. “We are an environmental and eco friendly club. We focus on improving the school and communities greenness,” Zarp said.

Of the 40 million tons of plastic waste generated in the U.S. in 2021, only 5% to 6%, or about 2 million tons were recycled. However, East is trying to make a difference through the Green Initiative club. 

Green Initiative is a science club that is trying to make the world a better place. Three years ago science teacher Rachel Carraher and a few students felt like the current science club wasn’t doing enough for the environment, so they took matters into their own hands. Club President Chloe Zarp has the agenda planned out for meetings.

“We will start off by recapping a project we’ve been working on. We will then start planning ahead for future projects. We will ask ‘Does anyone see anything they want to work on?’” Zarp said.

Green Initiative does many things that set them apart from most other clubs.  Senior and club member Lillian Crouch thinks the things this club does are important.

 “It is important to give opportunities to our student body to better our environment in ways like the roadside cleanup we just held or our park cleanup that we host in the spring,” Crouch said.

East used to do full recycling, but the trash hauler stopped the service.Some teachers remember when recycling was easy to do. Multiple factors are involved. 

“China stopped taking plastics. Companies then didn’t know what to do with all their plastic, so the recycling company the school used stopped doing plastic. We currently can only recycle cardboard,” Carraher said. 

While the school itself doesn’t recycle plastics, some teachers have bins set up to take home and recycle themselves. Thankfully, according to Carraher, recycling will be back soon.

“The goal is to try to bring recycling back on a school level. District level recycling, the original company is being bought. The plan is this year to bring it back,” Carraher said.

Recycling isn’t the only initiative they’re trying to implement to help the environment. Composting is a green way to dispose of food waste, and Green Intiative is the one spearheading this issue as well.

“We are looking at working with a company called Hillside Solutions, but they are costly. We have had a meeting with them and at this point we just need the funding,” Carraher said.

Carraher said it would cost up to $8,000 a month for school composting, and how that would be hard to maintain. The idea for how all this would work, would be a large compost, recycling, and trash center in the middle of the lunch room. Potentially, students could get released in sections to go dispose of their waste properly. 

Whether it be consistent park and roadside trash pickups, helping bring recycling to the school, or bringing composting to the lunch room, The Green Initiave club members are striving to make a difference for the better.