Its first year was a rousing success, but Huntington High School’s Environmental Club isn’t about to rest on its laurels. The group’s energy is endless.
With co-founder Rachel Roday now in her freshman year at the University of Delaware, the club’s returning veterans and a new group of devotees are ready to take the organization to new heights.
Environmental Club President
Club co-founder Noah Morris is this year’s president. Rachel Moss (vice president), Katarina Obermaier (treasurer), Christiana DeLuca (recording secretary), Neil Jean-Baptiste (corresponding secretary), James Obermaier (social media correspondent), Katharine Kitzen (interscholastic representative), Katie Stock (historian) and Axa Waxenberg (administrative assistant) round out the organization’s executive board. Science teacher Gina Carone serves as the faculty advisor.
The club had what can only be called one of the most fabulous debuts that any such organization can hope to enjoy during 2016/17, including Earth Day events and other initiatives around the building and community and the creation of a spectacular courtyard garden dedicated to Eli Mollineaux. But one still gets the sense that the best is yet to come.
“The Environmental Club is getting ready for an even better year than 2016/17,” Mr. Morris said. “We have an amazing group of students that participate as officers in the club, as well as an outstanding student body of members that make the club function the way it does. So far this year, we have redistributed recycling bins around school to about 30 classrooms. Each Friday is filled with paper collection. We participated in Tuesday’s Safe Halloween program for elementary school students. We are planning on tackling the use of plastic water bottles in the school by holding a reusable water bottle fundraiser. Details on that will be coming out very shortly.”
There’s no shortage of ideas among club members. “In early November, some of our members will be participating in an observational study for the Suffolk County government,” Mr. Morris said. “They will be counting the amount of plastic bags being used by customers in supermarkets.”
The initiative is tied to a new county law that imposes a five cent fee on the single use plastic and disposable paper bags commonly used by those checking out at supermarkets. The legislation is effective January 1, 2018.
“As part of this county law, a committee was established called ‘5&5 Education and Effectiveness Working Group,’” Ms. Carone said. “One of its responsibilities is to obtain data on how many people are using plastic bags when they grocery shop before the fee is implemented. There is an urgent need for students to help with this survey. So a few science research students and the environmental club are teaming up to collect data.”
Earth Day events will definitely be on the agenda again next spring. The club sold-out its supply of Earth Day shirts last year and the organization really rallied the entire high school building behind the idea of a clean environment.
The plan to sell BPA (an industrial chemical) free reusable water bottles is designed to raise monies that will be used to purchase a memorial stone for Eli’s Garden. There’s no shortage of meaningful pursuits for the club.
“The Environmental Club is continuing to make strides,” Ms. Carone said. “The students are working on multiple projects to help make Huntington High School a greener place. The paper recycling program, selling reusable water bottles and maintaining the garden are a start of what is to come in the future. The members and leaders are extremely dedicated and I could not be more proud to advise such an amazing team.”