Eco-Citizens  Turn The Blue Wave Environmental Green

By Christian Panier - 09/11
NEIRAD enilno edition

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Junior Emma Tuzinkiewicz doesn’t just talk about saving the environment. She does something.

“Rachel McGlade, Amanda Dobler, Catherine Becker, and I started the club this year because we felt that the Eco-Citizens club would fill an unfilled niche at our school.  There are no other clubs that take action in trying to help our environment and we feel that it is absolutely vital that the DHS students have an opportunity to do so,” Tuzinkiewicz said.

AP Environmental Science and Biology teacher Elisa Scudder has gotten caught up in the girls’ enthusiasm. She agreed to act as club adviser. The group meets every Wednesday morning at 7am in room C-105.

“Their concern for the planet and desire to be part of the solution to both local and global environmental problems is sincere and heartening.  A few leaders have emerged and the club grows daily,” Mrs Scudder said. The club may be new yet they already have a mission in mind.  “The Eco-Citizens hope to improve recycling right here at DHS as a start.  They have met with Rodney Brown and have a plan to begin redeeming plastic, disposable water bottles this week.  They will also be working with other community groups as the opportunities arise,” Mrs Scudder said.  Other agenda items include helping a local Boy Scout troop with tree planting in the spring;  raising awareness about deforestation; animal extinction; the effect of man's ecological footprint and promoting sustainability locally and globally. 

The student members are split up into different committees to increase the group’s efficiency.  The committee heads meet every week but have a special head meeting every other week.  Full member meetings take place the following week at the same time. 

Seniors Brian Annechino and Alden Frelinghuysen are leading efforts to mark the 40th anniversary of Earth Day’s on April 22. Frelinghuysen said the mission is huge, but the message is not that hard to comprehend.  “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.” Frelinghuysen said citing the wisdom from "The Lorax" by Dr Seuss.

They already have one successful initiative under their belt. They participated in the 350 Global Day of Action last month. This initiative aims to challenge of the climate crisis. The number “350” is significant because it is the level scientists have identified as the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere.    This 350 day of action is driving their effort to install classroom recycling bins.

“With the money we receive from the juice pouches/bottles we are thinking about buying recycling bins for the classrooms, but we are still debating this idea,”  Tuzinkiewicz said.

The club now has a blog and Facebook group.  The group strongly encourages anyone to join and do their part.  Also, look out for the plastic bottle collection box around school to create their entry into the 350’s day of action.
To achieve our goals, we need lots of help and support and invite everyone to join us any Wednesday.  There are many ways for the school community to come together and make a difference, so join the Eco-Citizens club!” Tuzinkiewicz said.