Going Green For the New Year

With the start of 2020, NASH's Environmental Club has come up with some important steps to help our planet.

photo by Rachel Tian

Rachel Tian, Staff Writer

For NASH environmental science teacher Mrs. Baschangel, the outdoors have always held an irresistible appeal.

“I always loved nature,” Baschnagel recently told The Uproar, “and as I grew older, I became more aware of just how interconnected everything is.”

Now in her third year at NASH (after beginning her NA career at Marshall Middle School), the science teacher is only more determined to share her passion.  And as the Environmental Club sponsor, Baschnagel now leads a group of like-minded students who are going green this new year.

“Environmental science and environmental awareness are very important to me,” she said, “and I was so happy that there was a group of students who were passionate about helping the environment and spreading awareness about issues.” 

Seemingly every day, a new natural disaster, water shortage, or polluted city is reported in the papers. On the bright side, however, the Environmental Club recently shared a “Green New Year’s Resolutions” project that serves as an excellent suggestion towards solving those problems. 

The Environmental Club members wrote up a list of small yet effective ways that will help our planet achieve “greenery,” such as reducing plastic usage and recycling more often. Additionally, to engage the entirety of the student body, the club asked students around NASH to write down a simple eco-friendly tip on a 100%-recyclable sticky note and tape it next to the “resolutions” board outside the auditorium vestibule.

The Environmental Club was started by junior Ashna Patel in her sophomore year. When she first began high school, Patel participated in an environmental engineering science fair project that focused on feasible wastewater treatment.

“During the fair, I learned about an organization that was working on a statewide clean water/air and green energy movement,” Patel said. “Later that summer, I started interning for PennEnvironment and became interested in environmental activism.” 

The internship got Patel thinking about bringing new green ideas to school life.

“Most people involved in PennEnvironment were much older, and that made me want to build a club for students like me who were passionate about the environment to get involved in high school,” she said. 

In the past, meetings for Environmental Club consisted of inviting speakers from different organizations and companies to inform members about relevant environmental issues in sustainability and what they can do to help.

“This year,” Patel said, “we are working to create more projects and increase awareness in the community, beginning with our Green New Year’s Resolutions.” 

The club’s most ambitious goal this year is carrying out the Environmental Art Gala “Eleven Years.”

The United Nations says that we only have 11 years to act on climate change before it is  too late,” Baschnagel said. “In collaboration with PennEnvironment and the National Art Honors Society, this exhibition will aim to raise awareness about climate change and other growing environmental issues, as well as showcase the talent of young artists.” 

Environmental Club meets approximately once every two weeks to work on new eco-friendly projects and build a healthier  community. Patel said it is not too late to join.

“We are always happy to recruit more club members!” she said. “This year, we especially want to see more NAI kids come and support our cause.”