April 22 was an unorthodox Earth Day. Normally, people will go outside on hikes to appreciate nature or pick up trash around the community. The stay-at-home orders in place due to COVID-19 made such activities impossible this year. Despite this, St. John’s Eco Club still wanted to do something to help out, so they took to their Instagram account, @sjceco, to educate students about the environment. The club president, Claire Gearan ‘20, said that they wanted to provide helpful facts and information on both the virus and the environment.
They provided many informative posts throughout the week. For instance, on Monday, they discussed how thrifting is beneficial to the environment because it saves clothing from being thrown away, and added to the 700 million pounds of used goods put in landfills each year. Another day, how the pollution emitted from humans has decreased recently. The graphs they provided demonstrate how the nitrate concentration above China has gone down during the lockdown from above 500 micromoles per meter squared to under 125 in some areas.
Beyond their Instagram account, Eco Club runs the recycling program at St. John’s, where they pick up the recycling from different classrooms during homeroom. During online learning, they are transitioning to Zoom to discuss their plans for next year. Also, they are planning to have an eco friendly mask making tutorial sometime in the near future.
St. John’s student involvement did not stop at Eco Club. Two juniors, Elizabeth Drelichman ‘21 and Paige Fitzpatrick ‘21, also took to Instagram during Earth week. They started the account @_missiongreen_ “as a fun way to raise awareness.” While their account is currently not affiliated with St. John’s, they still want to reach the student body with the ultimate goal of reducing the amount of plastic used in the cafeteria, as well as improving the recycling process. Their posts have included features on endangered species like the Vaquita Porpoise and pertinent scientists like Dr. Sylvia Earle. They have continued to post even after earth week ended.