Earth Week to educate students about environmental sustainability

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    Palo Alto High School students will have the opportunity throughout this week to learn more about climate change and environmental sustainability during Earth Week, which will be hosted at lunch every day on the Quad.

    The event will take place from April 16 to April 20, is organized by the Environmental Clubs Organization, a conglomeration of five environmentally focused Paly clubs.

    According to senior Olivia d’Arezzo, an ECO member, ECO hopes that through the different lunchtime activities and speakers, students will learn about environmental issues.

    “We hope students will learn a little bit about environmental issues and what they can do to make a difference while having fun with all the different activities planned,” d’Arezzo said. “Our main goals for Earth Week are education and fun.”

    Organizers hope to educate students about the different ways they can be environmentally conscious, and to prepare students to participate in Earth Day, according to senior Leila Tjiang, an ECO member and the president of the Zero-Waste Initiative Club.

    Each day has a different theme, focusing on different aspects of environmental sustainability. According to the schedule, the themes for the week are Food, Water, Transportation & Energy, Waste & Trash and Outdoor Appreciation. On Monday, Isabelle Cnuddle, the founder of a chicken sanctuary, Clorophil, will be speaking in Room 803. In addition, each time a student participates in a different event, they will be entered into a weeklong raffle in which students can win prizes.

    Tjiang says she hopes that by focusing on a different topic each day, students will be able to gain a more comprehensive understanding of environmental sustainability.

    “We really wanted the event to be multidimensional, in the sense that we don’t want it [the activities] to just be like ‘oh compost,’ or to just do one thing,” Tjiang said. “So each day has a different theme, because we really wanted to go through all the different dimensions of environmental sustainability.”

    This event marks ECO’s first big event since the organization’s establishment in January. Members hope that this organization will allow all of Paly’s environmental clubs to be more effective in their efforts. Composed of the Zero-Waste Initiative, Roots, Climate Vision, TapOut, Outdoor Appreciation and Action Club, their goal is to not only continue pursuing their individual tasks and initiatives, but also come together to create larger environmental goals for the school, Tjiang said.

    Ultimately, Tjiang hopes that this event will change how students view their role in environmental sustainability.

    “I think when people think about the environmental clubs on campus, some people are really pushed away from the stereotypes that fit those who are environmentally focused, like wearing flip flops and sandals all the time, eating bananas or going dumpster diving,” Tjiang said. “But we have some stuff that is a lot more fun, like water bottle engraving … that are not so environmentally focused to help encourage others to participate.”

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