Challenges to save the world

Leading up to Earth Day at the end of April, the Environmental Club has different challenges every week to remind people of the impact they have on the environment

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Breathe in, breathe out. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, the grass is green. And why is this? Because the Earth is a beautiful place, and provides each of us with the resources we need to survive. While sometimes the things we have always had we tend to take for granted, with Earth Day just around the corner the Environmental Club at Oakton is taking initiative to encourage the community to be more aware of environmentally-friendly habits through competitions throughout the month.

To start out the first week in April, the Oakton community was challenged to post a picture of reusable containers on Twitter and with the hashtag #IAmAGreenCougar and to tag @greencougars, with the incentive of possibly receiving a free S’well bottle. While not many people participated in the Twitter contest, the Environmental Club is hoping that the message of recycling will still come across.

The purpose of the challenges it to encourage everyone, and not just the Environmental Club, to work to save the environment.”

— Aashna Sawhney

The second week in April will be marked by the recycling challenge during lunches on Wednesday, April 11. Whichever lunch places the most correct things in recycling will pie a teacher in the face. While it’s still being decided which teacher will have the treat of having pie splattered over their face, the idea behind recycling more is one to be commended.

While the third week in April won’t have any tangible prize, the Environmental Club is encouraging everyone to reduce their carbon footprint- which can mean anything from biking to school and walking instead of driving nearby places. To finish off the celebration of April, everyone is challenged to make a piece of art out of reusable materials and tag the environmental club again for the chance to win a Canva gift card.

The planning that the Environmental Club has done for the earth month challenges has been largely collaborative. In their meetings after school, the club members have worked to brainstorm the best ideas, and figure out the logistics and what would work best realistically. In addition to the challenges, the Environmental Club has worked to get onto the morning announcements every day to announce various facts. Sophomore Aashna Sawhney stated, “I think it’s great that we have the announcements, because even if you’re not super excited about a challenge, people are more likely to recycle plastic bottles when they hear what happens when they are thrown away.”


More than just planning the earth month challenges, the Environmental Club is active throughout the year, organizing and helping with park clean ups and volunteering at elementary schools like Waples Mill to teach students about environmental issues.

Just having Earth Day once a year isn’t enough to save the entire world. Even though it has evolved into possibly the largest secular holiday celebrated around the world by 192 countries, many people ignore small ways that can help minimize the impact humans are having on the environment. When asked what small way people at Oakton can work to change, Sawhney recommended being more aware of water usage to not waste as much water. Simple things like turning off the water when brushing your teeth, or taking shorter showers. In other words, think about the Earth on more than just April 22. Try to make a change for the better to help save the environment.


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