Feature: APES Students Save the Environment, One Piece of Trash at a Time
Last Saturday, students in Mr. Powell's AP Environmental Science course participated in the California Coastal Clean Up, one of California's largest volunteer events. Volunteers from all over California took part in this event, collecting pounds of trash and recyclables from California's beaches, lakes, and watersheds. This is the second year for APES students to participate in this event.
“The best part of going to the coastal clean up was the feeling of bettering the environment as a whole, and making a change,” comented sophomore Sophia Bercow. “The way the world is going to change is with one little step at a time, and this was small, but made a huge impact.”
About 30 APES students volunteered with Mr. Powell at the Clean Up, and almost everyone collected a full bag of garbage.
Along with helping the environment, the students learned valuable life lessons. “Students learn what it means to give back. We always hear teachers and parents saying get involved, but when we actually do, we feel the difference that we are making for the community, and ultimately the world”, Bercow explains. “It's a feeling you can't talk about, but must experience.”
“My experience with students doing volunteer work is that they usually really enjoy it, but in a way they don't expect,” explains Mr. Powell. “I think if we want our community to be a better place in general, we've got to be the change. We can't rely on outside sources to come and clean up for us, or provide services or whatever, it's got to be us.”
Powell also commented that community service like this is crucial to the community. “That's what being a good member of the community is to me. But if the issue is never forced and they never get out there, then they may never feel how good it feels or get how much fun it can be. We can all be stewards of the environment. In fact, I think it is our duty to be”.
The Coastal Cleanup was huge success last year, resulting in the collection of about 770,000 pounds of trash. While the results of this years amount have not been released yet, participants are confident that this year it will surpass its goal.