Environmental Club Helps Protect the Planet

Emma Schroeder, Writer

Washburn Rural’s Environment Club is taking an active role to impact the planet this year. This year they are supporting a school-wide petition to reduce the school’s carbon footprint. Senior Jenna Patterson is the Environmental Club President this year. 

Our goal is not only to educate everyone in what they can do to preserve the natural environment, but we would like to implement recycling, composting, and renewable energy in WRHS. We want to work with the staff and student body to create an efficient, green atmosphere. This year we are focusing on recycling, composting, and renewables,” Patterson said. 

In order to make their campaign inclusive to all students, the club is actively trying to involve different WRHS clubs.

“We hope to work with SPED and Circle of Friends to work out a more fluent recycling system and educate these students. We also want to compost in the lunchroom to raise awareness and limit the waste produced by the student body. Changing to renewables will inspire awareness and allow students to spread the word that WestStar Energy has cheap and reliable renewable energy sources throughout the district,” Patterson said. 

All of these changes are being made in order to mitigate harmful environmental phenomenons that degrade the earth. According to the UN Climate Change Annual Report in 2018, the world’s window to reverse humanity’s contribution to climate change closes in 2030. 

When asked about the most urgent issues regarding climate change, Patterson said, “I personally believe the loss of biodiversity, ocean acidification, and deforestation are the most important environmental issues we face today. Decreased biodiversity can cause trophic cascades which wipe out entire ecosystems leaving our Earth barren. Ocean acidification is the result of CO2 in the air and causes the pH of the oceans to drop. This kills off coral reefs, which accounts for over 25% of the oxygen put into the air. Without coral reefs, a mass extinction will occur on the largest level ever experienced on Earth. The same thing will happen if the rainforest are cut down. They supply 50% of oxygen in the atmosphere and are the home to the most diverse community of animal species in the world.” 

If you are interested in contributing to Environmental Club, they are selling shirts through The Shack’s website. Contact Jenna Patterson, Cailyn Sorton, or Adam Schmitz in room A304 for more information. 

Check out The Shack’s website to purchase Environmental Club shirts: http://www.wrhstheshack.com/