Evanston goes green Students recognize Earth Day

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Evanston students have been dedicating their time in honor of Earth Day, which is coming up on April 22.

“For the past seven years, we’ve had a project where students clean up different neighborhood in Evanston, as well as the student courtyards at the school,” says Mary Collins, Community Service Coordinator.

Collins adds that while students are already very excited for this year’s Earth Day Clean Up on April 25, many have been involved in other projects to help the environment.

“Many students are already involved in environmental efforts at ETHS and all over the community, whether it’s through Green Team, the Evanston Ecology Center, or other great nonprofits,” says Collins.

Senior Aly Singleton, Green Team president, says, “Recently, Green Team has been focusing on projects surrounding sustainability. We have been giving tours of the Ecology Center’s Tiny House (a completely off the grid, self-sustainable green home built by a Northwestern team), organizing TED talk showings, and implementing a composting program in the ETHS kitchens.”

“These projects are meant to show people that they can help protect the environmental with small actions,” she adds.

Singleton also mentions chemistry teacher Joel Weiner, who has gotten many students involved with forest restoration. The goal of forest restoration is to strengthen Evanston’s native ecosystem by removing the invasive buckthorn species.

“For about five years now I have had about 100 of my students per year come out. More and more, current students decide to go more than once, and former students come out as well.” adds Weiner.

Louis Helfand, junior, comments, “it’s a very fun experience. I did it last year when I was in Chem-Phys and really enjoyed myself. This year, me and a few other people went back and did it again. It’s also great for community service hours.”

It is projects like these that help better the community and the earth. According to the City of Evanston, over the past 10 years, the air pollution, water waste/pollution, and wasted energy have all decreased significantly.

Every year Evanston progresses in cleaning up its environment, but it’s nowhere near perfect. This Earth Day, hopefully more ETHS students find themselves wanting to help their community and planet earth.images