Registered: December 2014
View this Member's Photo Gallery
Just Call Me Captain Planet
My school just finished its first No Impact Week—a week raising awareness for environmental problems. After hearing about it from a teacher, a few guys, that teacher and I had some afterschool brainstorming meetings and made great plans—we were going to do all these things and involve all these people and make this a school-wide event to remember and to be repeated by others in years to come. But that was all they were—plans. Other priorities got in the way and no one took initiative. So tehe following couple weeks were my busiest ever as I balanced life and trying to personally contact myriad clubs and teachers for participation. But the lack of interest/follow-through deflated me. Even student council was out. I overestimated how much people would care about things like not stuffing trash in the recyclers or the compost bin I made sophomore year. Then I realized it was the very first No Impact Week. I’d need to give them something to care about--something fun and not naggy like many awareness-esque events. So I came on the daily announcements with funny blurbs, organized student-led acoustic music on campus, gave locally grown-fruits out so students could compost the cores/rinds, created fliers, got the cafeteria to give discounts for reusable water bottles for good, orchestrated a green-out shirts day, handed out donuts to people who rode their bikes to school, and more. Thankfully, it was well received. I don’t know if I changed anyone’s life. But I do know—if only because of the copious amounts of good-natured ribbing all the guys gave me for hugging trees—that I raised awareness.
My school encourages us to be “men for others.” It’s become one of my strongest ideals. But being men for others isn’t just helping at the soup kitchen once a year—it’s making daily decisions that both directly and indirectly benefit those in need. The marginalized live closest to the elements. And they will be more in need than ever as the elements become more inhospitable.
I’m proud of No Impact Week because it’s the biggest project I’ve ever done. I mean that in the sense of the workload, sure, but also in the sense of how there were so many people watching. I had to ensure it would knock some metaphorical socks off because my audience was not only the entire student body, but also the administration. I had to make sure that my creativity and determination really shone through in a tasteful and well-thought out manner. I’ve coordinated quite a few events and smaller-scale activities, but never anything like this. More enthusiasm needed to be drummed up for No Impact Week than for anything I’ve ever participated in. And for the most part, I had to do it by myself. So for me, this experience was a kind of test. Besides cutting out my exercise regimen, I was able to maintain coursework and life while giving No Impact Week loads of my time. I kicked butt and took names, and I think that the legacy of No Impact Week is safe in the hands of the underclassmen I involved in the project. I’m proud to think that I started a new school tradition.
Finally, thank you so much for your time and consideration!