Going Green: Earth Club Continues to Raise Environmental Awareness

Leyden Streed, Staff Writer

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The 1970s in America were a time of division and change, facilitated by the rise of anti-war and civil rights movements. In the midst of these cries for progress, the country began taking strides towards environmental responsibility. Many students became more conscious of their environmental impact and made it a public concern. On April 22, 1970, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day. Minnetonka Earth Club celebrated on April 22 by giving information about the day and holding activities like trivia at a table in the commons.

Jean Pebles, a former environmental science teacher (a class no longer offered at Minnetonka), started Earth club roughly 20 years ago. It has been run by advisor Jason Boswell for the past 18 years, along with student leaders like Skyler Seets, ‘20.

“As a community, we can’t just be ignorant… and let environmental destruction continue, and I think it’s important that we take a stand,” said Seets.

Earth Club’s purpose is to raise awareness about environmental issues and take action.

“Their slogan is, ‘People of the planet, for the planet’. We only have one planet to live on,” said Boswell.

In a typical meeting, they plan for events or discuss the issues they want to focus on. Additionally, they find ways to reuse recycled materials and watch environmental documentaries to raise awareness. Every month they have an activity such as the “Rake-a-thon” and the upcoming “Trash to Treasure” event on April 27.

This year’s freshman class hopes to reduce plastic used in their community over their four years. They are working to give out reusable bags (with voluntary donations) to reduce the amount of plastic bag usage in Minnetonka. Previously, they have sold reusable water bottles to reduce the amount of plastic water bottles sold.

Some of the leaders and members of Earth Club are working on the Minnetonka Climate Initiative, a multi-generational project with the goal of getting a climate resolution passed in the city of Minnetonka. They hope to reduce carbon emissions and implement more renewable energy.

“Think globally, act locally. We want to help make our community more sustainable and focus on the environmental impact of our actions,” said Seets.

Anyone interested is encouraged to join. Earth Club meets Thursdays after school until 4:00 p.m. It’s a great service opportunity and is somewhere where anyone can showcase their leadership skills. Students should feel free to talk to any member for more information.

“It’s a great opportunity to get involved with just really fun interactive people, and you can basically pick your own project and define your own leadership,” said Boswell.

This Earth Day, students can try to be more aware of the impact of their actions, do little things to improve the Earth and leave a legacy in their community like the members of Earth Club are working to do.

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