Go Green! Salesian Environmental Club: Our Visions

Aaron Jiang ’23

It’s all but futile initiatives as the damage accumulated has far exceeded anything of human repairs. Too pessimistic? We can all begin to save our only home by taking green initiatives in our own unique ways that’ll contribute to the eventual healthy future of our Mother Earth again. How about now? Well, the truth is actually neither but somewhere in between like with most things. We have to face the fact that the world our grandchildren will live in will be very different from ours no matter what we do going forward. After all, it’s been since the last century that no one took the warning. Maybe things would’ve been different if scientists were taken seriously. It’s a damage that’d be too deep to repair. However, as scientists have claimed, reducing carbon emissions does help to make the problem less severe certainly. In other words, there’s still no excuse for us to be idle about this situation and submit to our dystopian destiny. 

Something that should’ve been the case a century back when Salesian was founded, our official Environmental Club finally made its way to reality. Under the intricate planning and leadership of Mr. Beal, we are looking at a year bustling with environmental conscious activities transpiring around the campus. The goal’s fulfilling end entails a campus that’s beyond its current beauty with vegetations, fruit trees, flowers, and other plants for biodiversity purposes. On the other hand, Mr. Beal is a man with a plan by separating our goals into three executable categories each with much to accomplish: short term, mid term, and long term. 

The short term goal includes the achievement of reusable bottles, reusable masks, getting through the Green House proposal, having cleanup for detention, starting our carbon calculator, and starting the planting of fruit trees. However, these goals are not limited to new ideas moving forward in succeeding meetings of our executive committee. These are all goals the Environmental Club aspires to accomplish before Christmas vacation. We’ve already seen the fruition of bottles being reused thanks to our water refilling stations. We would now like to encourage all students and faculty of Salesian High School to gravitate towards reusable masks. Please trust us on the positive impact of this encouraged policy as it not only saves our planet but also your pocket. We’ve submitted the proposal for the Green House, and, great news, the proposal is virtually through as everybody in the provincial house up the hill has consented but the technical aspects take time to be sorted out. Moreover, what more productive way can a student serve detention in than having them save the planet. That’s correct, detention cleanup might become a reality in coming weeks faster than you think here at Salesian High School! Lastly, after the carbon calculator, we will start planting fruit trees around the perimeter of the Mary Help of Christian statue in intervals. That’ll allow for the rebirth of our campus within the presence of these trees!

The mid term goal includes the doing away of paper plates, enforcing digital class materials only, installing solar panels, laboring the fields in GreenHouse, and finishing our calculator. The paper plates used in the Cafeteria should be self explanatory as they are detrimental to the environment. Many of our beloved teachers love to utilize the “mass printing” aspects to incorporate it into their lessons. That’s numerous trees wasted when Google Classrooms potential encompasses similar abilities digitally. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the convenient aspects of printing out a paper copy for every student. However, we could easily attempt to use Google Classroom and turn fully digital. Paper handouts should only be limited to tests to prevent any possibility of cheating. Listen, I love every single one of my teachers, and I know it’s quite difficult perhaps even exasperating. On the contrary, Mr. Beal believes that if we could survive last year fully digital, we shouldn’t excuse ourselves from this potential benefit for our environment. Together, I trust we can move forward from physical papers as much as possible as a school. On the fortunate side, we will have solar panels very soon! It will be funded by what Mr. Beal describes as “Catholic energy” as the archdiocese will provide for us. Lastly, we can start labroing the mini plantations in the GreenHouse around the end of and beginning of first and second semester respectively.

The long term goals include a Salesian Bikeathon, Earth Day cleanup, healthier foods in the cafeteria, planting outdoors, and an increase in biodiversity. The Salesian Bikeathon intends to encourage the usage of environmentally friendly transportation. Meanwhile, the healthier foods in the cafeteria could come from many of the Environmental clubs’ planted fruits and vegetables, which also includes those from grafting (one tree that grows multiple varieties of berries). We will also plant various autotrophs that’s suitable for Salesian’s environment for an increase in biodiversity. All of this not only intends to protect the environment but also beautifies our campus to another realm. 

Currently, we have a paucity of students who’ve taken the initiatives to partake in this great revolution that’s about to unfold. I understand the enticing beds that Saturday mornings tend to hold, however please still try to show up to some of our meetings. We’ll need all hands on deck to show other high schools the determination Salesian has to right this wrong for our environment. Beyond these, Mr. Beal has a bonus “vision” section for the far future into the summer plans: taking on Green projects that’s found online. Please also share your ideas in our future meetings if you possess one to take this step together as a school.