The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Environmental Club fights plastic waste with new week of awareness initiatives

Erin Ryu
Environmental Club members engage with students in their setup on the Quad. Throughout ‘War on Waste Week’, they raised awareness about plastic waste on campus.

The Environmental Club partnered with Prefect Council to host War on Waste Week, an initiative dedicated to reducing plastic and waste at the school Feb. 12-15. Throughout the week, the club screened a movie, hosted an interactive table on the Quad and passed out treats to students who brought in reusable containers to increase awareness of plastic consumption.

Environmental Club faculty advisor and Environmental Science Teacher Nadine Eisenkolb said her students collected and cleaned plastic clamshells to use them as display for their table, increasing concern of the extensive plastic usage at the school.

Eisenkolb said many people are unaware that plastic consumption, especially of the clamshells, is harmful because nanoparticles and microplastics can get into food and cause hormonal disruption from chemicals.

“[Students] are right at that age where the hormonal systems are very active,” Eisenkolb said. “So for them to eat at least five times a week from something that is leached with chemicals is not healthy and should not be their primary option. And yet, nobody gives much thought to this [matter]. Nobody talks about this.”

Sophomore Prefect Mark Dai ’26 said Prefect Council decided to work together with Environmental Club because this initiative is a step towards limiting plastic and waste production at the school.

“It’s the start of our long term goal to reduce the school’s environmental impact,” Dai said. “We aim to transition from single-use plastics and disposable utensils in the cafeteria, to sustainable alternatives like metal silverware and reusable plates over the next three to four years.”

Environmental Club leader Nathalie Leung ’24 said the event was organized to bring together the school community and awareness for the future.

“We’re trying to demystify the whole environmentalism idea that, in order to be a good environmentalist, you have to take a bunch of things on your own,” Leung said. “We’re trying to show that this is a community effort and that we all have to chip in a little bit. If anyone wants to help or if anyone’s interested after learning these things, we would love them to join us.”

Club leaders and members prepare designed plastic clamshells to highlight plastic use.

Environmental Club member Savannah Mahoney ’25 said the event promoted interest and increased the knowledge within the student body.

“Some of my friends asked me how they can make better environmental choices in the cafeteria, so it’s definitely increasing awareness [because] people are thinking about their impacts and what they can do,” Mahoney said. “Also, I feel like having all [these activities] around, having different options and encouraging people [helps them] learn a little bit.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *