Cleanups for a cause

Student groups collect trash

Science Honor Society hosts Trash Bash

Senior Shruti Mavuri walked through the campus parking lot, large trash bag in hand. The air smelled of fresh rain. Trash was strewn all over the lot, most of which was fast food from the sports event earlier in the day. Mavuri and a friend filled up an entire large trash bag. The norm is for each group to fill their bag halfway or more during Science Honor Society’s monthly Trash Bashes. This particular trash bash affected Mavuri the most because there was just such an abundance of trash.

“It really made me think, ‘how much effort would it have taken for someone to go and put it in a trash can or keep it in their car until they got home?’” Mavuri said.

With the the parking lot cleared, Mavuri noticed the green was no longer overshadowed by trash.

“Once we cleaned it up, it literally brightened the atmosphere of the entire school,” Mavuri said.

Mavuri has been a member of Science Honor Society for two years. This year, she was elected as the public relations officer for the organization. Last year, the Earth Club and Science Honor Society merged under the honor society’s name.

“With the merging of these two clubs, you’re getting the best and the brightest in science mixed with people who are passionate about the environment to come together and create an environment where we can save what’s being lost,” Mavuri said.

After each Trash Bash, students bring their findings to Mr. Hovde and Mr. Hinsley. The teachers sort through each bag and determine what can be thrown away and what can be recycled. There’s almost always more volunteers that come to each cleanup than those who signed up.

“Being able to make an impact is just very rewarding,” Mavuri said. “It makes me feel like though I am still consuming a lot of resources from the earth, there’s still something that I’m doing to give back.”

Mavuri says that being a part of Science Honor Society has made her more aware of how much she wasted and consumed. She has since made a conscious effort to be more environmentally friendly and has stopped bringing plastic water bottles to school. As a whole, Mavuri believes it’s important for students to participate in activities like the Trash Bashes so they can be more aware of the environment and their impact on the Earth.

“If student could [be more environmentally conscious], then, every person could make an impact,” Mavuri said.


Orchestra stadium cleanups

Trash was carelessly strewn across the metal bleachers of Marauder Stadium. Large styrofoam cups with plastic straws read “Chicken Express”. Plastic water bottles and an assortment of uneaten foods littered the ground. When senior Danam Randhawa saw this, she was disappointed.

“When you go there and you just see how much trash is left behind, you get exhausted in a way,” Randhawa said.

The Saturday after every home football game, Orchestra leads stadium cleanups. Most participants are orchestra members and their friends. Four years ago, Orchestra was approached about the opportunity by those in charge of concessions. Concessions gives Orchestra $450 of funding for each stadium cleanup. Those not in Orchestra can aquire volunteer hours since they don’t benefit monetarily.

“You can’t just expect everyone to clean up your messes in life.”

— Danam Randhama

Funding isn’t the only reason for Randhawa’s participation in the cleanups. She was raised in a household that made her conscious of how her actions impact the earth. Randhawa tries to do what she calls the “basic little things” like turning off the lights when she leaves a room, conserving water and wasting as little gas as possible.

“I was taught at a young age to respect the earth,” Randhawa said. “I think that’s a very important thing, especially the way our future is heading.”

To maximize their environmental efforts, students make sure to separate recyclables from conventional trash when they clean the stadium. The most common recyclable item is, by far, plastic water bottles. As for students, Randhawa believes they should be more conscious and clean up after themselves.

“You can’t just expect everyone to clean up your messes in life,” Randhawa said.

After the stadium is cleaned, the atmosphere shifts from feeling like what she describes a “giant trash can” to a “place you would want to go”. While Randhawa admires the school spirit at football games, she doesn’t think it’s an excuse for leaving a mess.

“Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate and admire the whole school spirit thing,” Randhawa said. “But I feel like you should also use that spirit to help clean up [your] trash.”