Published Oct. 8, 2021
By BROOKE MILLER
After a year of only community-based projects and online club meetings, CHS’ Environmental Club centers its focus on campus soil by introducing a variety of eco-friendly projects such as compost and waste management for this year.
And with senior Giana Buraglio as this year’s club president, the team has no shortages of projects on their to-do list. With an increase of food waste from school-provided lunches, and accumulating food trash, the team plans on making the school compost-friendly.
“Once we started looking into the food waste at our school, it became a bigger issue than we originally thought,” Buraglio says. “We’re going to have to do an audit of trash at the school, and we would have to see what is actually going into the trash so that we can try to get composting going.”
The school already has multiple compost bins that have been blocked off by wooden plants because there is no current composting location in the area that the school can access, but the club would like to reintroduce a composting and food waste system.
According to senior Delfin Kirsch, students can place any food item they do not want into the bin and would save the issue of throwing away perfectly good food, hopefully pushing students to be more mindful of their food waste, since trash, in general, is a large concern for CHS’ campus.
“We’ve gone from 16 percent of kids getting a school lunch to over 50 percent,” says environmental science teacher Jason Maas-Baldwin, the club’s adviser.
Kirsch explains that students are taking advantage of this luxury and are taking food they don’t want.
The group has already started designing merchandise for exclusive club members with the help of group creative director Ella Mendoza.
“We’re going to be bringing in thrifted t-shirts which will symbolize sustainability through a full circle,” Mendoza says.
The club has also completed a successful beach clean-up at Monterey Municipal Beach within the first month of being back to school.
Beyond Carmel High’s littered amphitheater and overfilled trash cans is the club’s next mission at Palo Corona Regional Park where the group has already completed multiple restoration projects concerning the ice plant.
Environmental Club is looking to partner with organizations that will take out the invasive species and will reintroduce native species.
“It’s nice to meet a group of people who actually care about picking up their trash and looking after the world,” Kirsch says. “And it’s not a big commitment. You go to the meetings, you go to the projects, and you make friends and feel good about helping the environment.”
Because of Maas-Baldwin and 15 other nature-loving students, the CHS Environmental Club is continually working towards evolution with the school’s sustainability.