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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA

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Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA
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lauren031002



Registered: December 2019
City/Town/Province: Bowling Green
Posts: 1
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I have always shared a special fondness and appreciation for the outdoors. Not only this, but growing up, it was difficult to even separate those intricate processes of nature from those of my own subconscious and processes of rationalizing the world around me. My thoughts, emotions, and opinions were all rooted within the principles of nature, meaning that the way I understood and felt things mirrored that of the simplicity and straightforwardness that I saw nature present around me. Sunny days were good days, and beautiful, untarnished land directly corresponded with goodness, peacefulness, and honesty. Suffice to say that I spent a lot of time outside. I made some of my most cherished childhood memories playing sports with my parents in the country, spending time with family whilst taking weekend trips to the lake, and simply sitting in the grass either reading or daydreaming. My passion for nature only grew with each spring that sprung, so it is no surprise that I sought to find an outlet through which to indulge in such when I reached high school.
At one point during my junior year, I remember reading the infamous quote from Dr. Seuss's The Lorax pertaining to nature stating that "unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not." This left me to wonder, as many a time I had wondered before, how any one person could make a big difference in their efforts to preserve the environment if so many others proceeded to counteract his or her efforts. From this enigma, the idea of creating a platform on which to spread information and awareness about how to preserve and protect our earth presented itself as a solution. One person would indeed have a difficult time making a difference on his or her own, but what if more people were convinced to pick up the very same environmentally conscious habits and efforts? A friend and I that shared equalistic passions and similar ideals then got together, and we brainstormed ways to do just that in our community. We figured that the best way to promote change on a large scale would be to educate and inspire those of the upcoming generation, and, thus, we decided to found the South Warren High School Environmental Club.
The first steps that we took in our endeavor to create the Environmental Club included getting the idea approved by the school board and finding sponsors to help the young organization run smoothly. Once both of these things were completed, we began to do some club promotion and social outreach. With the help of two other elected officers of the club and the help of social media, we were able to disperse an ample amount of information regarding the new Environmental Club, and we were able to recruit more than 50 members. We then scheduled monthly meetings and monthly on-campus cleanups that all members and even non-members were welcomed to attend. Once we had established a steady foundation, we began to come up with ideas as to how to creatively do what we had set out to: inspire others to be passionate about and invested in the preservation of nature. Our first effort was to hang posters around the school that displayed tips on how to be environmentally friendly amidst daily routines. We encouraged others to shed the use of the plastic straw; we advertised what could be recycled and what could not; and we made lists of things that people could do within their own homes that promoted environmental compatibility with civilization. Next, we used some of the funds that we had collected whilst collecting dues for the club to buy six large recycling bins to disperse around the school. We advertised their presence, made covers that specified the items that could be placed within them, and we took turns changing the bags and driving them to a local recycling facility every week. Towards the end of the first semester of the club's existence, we held a contest between our club members as to who could take the most aesthetically pleasing pictures of nature, and we used photos from 12 winners to construct a club calendar. We sold these calendars within the club and externally, and we used a percentage of the funds to purchase reusable straws to sell to the student body. This endeavor was a huge hit. We sold over 200 reusable straws, and we raised over $200 to donate to a local conservation fund. And throughout all of this, we continued to meet every 2nd Tuesday of the month to clean up trash and litter that resided on our school grounds with purpose of keeping our school clean and setting a consistent example for those around us.
This year, we have gained even more members, and we have continued to try and come up with ways to ensure continual participation and inspiration among our members. So far, we have hosted a tie-dye event, during which we provided our members with reusable grocery bags to color and decorate; we have organized a field trip to a local cave system known as Lost River Cave in order to help the organization rid their grounds of invasive plant species; and we have hosted a Christmas event, at which we made and decorated Christmas ornaments out of recycled materials. We plan to continue our traditional events, and we anticipate organizing even more activities for our members to participate in. We hope that this is only the beginning, but we are quite pleased with the progress that we have already made.
As a result of the South Warren Environmental Club that I have helped to create, a club of the very same nature has arisen at another local high school. A friend of mine was inspired by the work of our environmental club, and she wanted to do some of the same work at her own school. The leaders of this Environmental Club have also been able to recruit a large group of participants, and they have created similar activities and fundraisers to help bolster their own members and to spread awareness within their own sphere of influence. Not only this, but members within our own club have attested to their learning much about the environment through our existence, and I have no doubt that they are also eager to be active in efforts of environmental preservation and to spread what they now know to others.
Now, I believe there are a large number of people "who care a whole awful lot" about the environment. Many voices are always better than just one, and I hope that with my efforts, I have been able to inspire others not only to be passionate themselves, but also to have the urge to make others passionate. With this sort of positivity and promotion of the earth, things will get better. One person may not be able to make a big difference working alone, but what if they were able to convince 50 others to join them? And what if, then, those fifty inspired another 50? Dr. Seuss had it right. In order to incite change, one must care a lot, but it is all about finding a way to do just that-a way that suits both the inciter and the community of the inciter. I hope that I have made a difference, and I hope many others can do the same. We will only ameliorate the state of the earth if we work together, and those are the founding principles of the club that I have helped to found and create.
Date: December 31, 2019 Views: 1558 File size: 21.1kb, 623.4kb : 1242 x 671
Hours Volunteered: 100+
Volunteers: 50
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 14 to 18
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