Before it is too late


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Nola Agerton, Reporter

We are amid a climate crisis. It is more important than ever to be environmentally conscious. We as a generation will decide the fate of our planet and our ecosystems. It is easy to feel helpless and small when the problem is bigger than we can imagine. Regardless, I am a strong believer that change starts locally. 

I reached out to a very active member of our community that is tackling this problem school-wide. Eleanor Meckley is part of MASH’s Environmental Club. She believes that “The biggest issue at our school is the fact that there isn’t a lot being done to enhance our environmental awareness. Aside from our club, there aren’t many opportunities to learn about the condition of the world we live in.”

The Environmental Club is leading the charge to educate the student body by taking on a variety of environmental issues. One of these missions is “PennDOT (Pennsylvania Department of Education) to invent a more cost-effective litter control/cleanup program for highways and suburban areas” Eleanor emphasizes the importance of recycling education by pushing for the ban of single-use plastics in the lunchroom, creating a more “rigorous” recycling process and debunking misinformation. 

The school’s courtyard has also been a large point of interest for the club. They are currently trying to revitalize the courtyard to a habitable environment for the local ducks. ”The rhododendron bushes that used to be in the courtyard cafeteria were torn out and thrown away, which lead to all of the ducks being exposed to a predatory hawk” These Rhododendron bushes are native to Pennsylvania and are a vital part of our ecosystem. A great way for  “Students at MASH to get involved is by joining the club, and/or signing up for the ‘Courtyard Renovation’ Flex.”

While partial responsibility remains with the school, the student body itself is part of the problem. Common misconceptions are extremely present at MASH, and anyone can fall victim. As an example, Eleanor points to a common rumor among the students about the school recycling habits, “Contrary to popular belief, MASH does recycle, and not doing so as an individual is detrimental to the process.” Education is key here since a lack of awareness can have negative consequences. This is where the student needs to take responsibility and seek out that information.

When asked about the school’s past environmental history, Eleanor claimed, “I wouldn’t say the school has made poor environmental decisions in the past, so much as they don’t really worry about it.” and “My goal as a member of the student body is to raise our school to levels above average, and make MASH a place this generation can be proud of.” 

It is easy to feel helpless and small when the problem is bigger than we can imagine. Regardless, I am a strong believer that change starts locally. Eleanor and the Environmental Club embodies this belief to the highest degree. The work they are doing is changing the world, one step at a time, and that’s how problems are fixed.