Ecology club cleans up campus

BY NYAH HARDMON

FEATURES COPY EDITOR

Senior and President of the Ecology Club Renee Hudon has always had a passion for aiding her environment. It was not until her previous Advanced Placement (AP) Environmental Science teacher approached her about joining the Ecology Club during her freshman year, when Hudon realized she could put her passion to good use, starting right here at the Bay.

“I have always been a huge environmentalist, my old teacher could see that I was quite interested in the topic of environmental sciences,” Hudon said. “Once I joined the Ecology Club I found a way to channel my ideas, and I have not stopped trying to make an impact since.”

Hudon works with her fellow officers to change the campus, for the better. The club spearheaded the initiative to have recycling bins in every classroom, and personally takes responsibility for collecting the recyclable items every Tuesday after school and putting what they can to good use. As a part of her Ecology Club recycling efforts, Hudon made a bench out of recycled wood that currently sits in the courtyard. In addition to sparing reusable waste, Hudon also leads the Ecology Club in beach cleanups and environmental- based collaborations with other clubs like Best Buddies.

“Last year, we worked with members of Best Buddies where we had an officer in the club paint some stones and do other environmentally conscious crafts with them, that was one of my favorite events,” Hudon said.

Hudon has big plans for the Ecology Club as the new school year begins and she brings in a fresh set of members. The president already has ideas for a farmers market that the club can hopefully host on campus. According to Hudon, thinking of ways to take care of her surroundings is something that comes naturally.

“Where I grew up, it is just the norm to compost, recycle and trade in cans or bottles,” Hudon said. “So I have always had that life style of trying to prevent leaving an environmental footprint ingrained in my mind.”

Junior Joey Howard shares Hudon’s interest in taking care of the local ecosystem. Even before joining the Ecology Club this year, Howard has always taken the extra step towards being aware of his impact on campus.

“I just do little things like make sure to pick up after myself during lunch or collect any extra trash that may be floating around on campus,” Howard said. “It annoys my friends, but I don’t mind taking the few seconds out of my day to prevent adding to the litter and trash that we already have enough of.”

Howard also tries to limit the plastic he wastes by bringing a reusable water bottle to school and filling it up throughout the day. Now, with the help of the Ecology Club, he can further impact the ecosystem.

“I’m excited for this year because I know that I will just learn more ways to improve the well being of our local ecosystem,” Howard said.

AP Environmental teacher and Ecology Club sponsor Laura Ashley took over the club after the original sponsor retired and offered the position to her. Mrs. Ashley said she was interested in taking on the opportunity because it sounded like something that she would enjoy participating in.

“I thought that by helping out with the Ecology Club there would be more opportunity to reach more students and to teach them how to help the environment,” Mrs. Ashley said.

Mrs. Ashley aids the officers as they further teach the members of the club about the environment and what they can do to help, specifically by spreading the word and educating others. The teacher has always believed in the importance of taking care of the environment and is happy to share this passion with others.

“This is our home, our only home, so we need to treat the environment with respect and do what we can to take care of it for future generations,” Mrs. Ashley said.

The teacher also provides advice for students to be more environmentally conscious. She suggests students partake in tasks like recycling, using reusable water bottles and picking up trash when they see it lying on the ground. She urges those around her to be aware of their plastic use and to use reusable bags at the grocery store instead of plastic bags.

“We need to protect our environment so that we don’t run out of the resources that nature provides,” she said. “It has given so much to us so we need to treat it with respect and try to be more conscious of our actions and how they affect what’s around us.”

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