Lane’s contribution to Earth Month


Daniela Ciesielski

Mindful students contribute time and effort to work together with Urban Eco to pick up waste found in Clark Park.

By Daniela Ciesielski, Assistant Editor

As the warmer seasons roll in, one might become more mindful of the beautiful Earth around them, especially on the notable day dedicated to the Earth: Earth Day.

Earth Day is a time to live more consciously, and to contribute and set an example as to becoming more mindful of the Earth around you. However, Earth Day did not amount to just one day at Lane.  

The Student Sustainability Board, Urban Eco and Environmental club were among the student led organizations that contributed to this year’s Earth Day efforts throughout the month of April.

Whether it was collecting and recycling trash in the community or donating used clothes, students came together in several ways to ensure that the month of April, in correlation to Earth Day, would be a success.

Amid the events that occurred was the thrift store, which took place in the lunchroom on April 17, 18, and 20. The thrift store is a fairly new event that began last year, through the efforts of the Student Sustainability Board.

Victoria Bartoszewicz, Div. 854, co-founder of CPS Students Sustainability Board, works together with other CPS high school students to “create stable change in our school communities or raise awareness for small events like this about decreasing our ecological footprint,” Bartoszewicz said.

The thrift store, according to Bartoszewicz, was an even greater success compared to last year due to the quality and quantity of contributions to the event. Spirit wear, denim, and even “No tenemos miedo” (“We are not afraid”) t-shirts, a design created by Lourdes Carteno, Div. 877, in honor of Dreamers, were among the new items at the thrift store this year.

Besides the event being a fundraiser and demerit reduction opportunity, students were able to contribute and be a part of a more substantial message of environmental awareness.

“It makes us more conscious of our clothing textile waste stream,” Bartoszewicz said. “Just going to the thrift store and seeing all the bags of clothing that people drop off, and even if it’s just a few bags per person, it really adds up.”

The Sustainability Board collaborated with buildOn, a chapter of a larger nonprofit where members raise money to start a school in a country with low literacy rates, donated the proceeds to help buildOn’s efforts to build a school in Nicaragua this year. Clothing left over from the thrift store was donated to charity or sold at one of the CrossRoads Thrift Store locations, located at 5127 N. Clark St.

Further efforts from the Sustainability Board included the Empty Makeup Container Drive, where all empty containers were recycled with TerraCycle, a program implemented in over 20 countries that helps collect and recycle all forms of waste to limit the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Additionally, a movie screening of Chasing Coral, a film that looks into the disappearance of coral reefs around the world, was held on April 12.

In addition to the events held by the Student Sustainability Board, both Urban Eco and Environmental Club were able to take Earth Day efforts outside of the Lane building and into the community.

Jacob Eagle, Div. 070, who is vice president of Urban Eco, takes part in promoting conservation especially in the local community. Eagle, along with other Urban Eco members and students, helped lead the clean up at Clark Park on April 23.

Students gathered in room 136 before heading out to Clark Park where they worked together to determine what could be recycled and what could be trashed.

Urban Eco has been involved with other projects and fundraisers such as making dog toys for shelters or hosting candy sales, in addition to the clean ups held around Lane. They hope to continue their efforts and accomplish more in the future.

“I definitely think our efforts are expanding,” Eagle said. “We’re doing more this year than we did last year and for the future I hope we can do more projects, hopefully it can become an almost bi weekly thing that we do.”

Similar to Urban Eco, Environmental Club also organized a clean up at Lane on April 26 on the front lawn on Western, with the help of co-presidents Manal Rizwan, Div. 860 and David Aco, Div. 981.

Environmental Club provides service hours and works to recycle items around the school, but more importantly works to reach out to the community and spread knowledge and awareness about environmental sustainability.

Environmental Club has organized school-wide recycling drives and introduced recycling systems in the school by placing recycling bins and labels of recyclable items in each classroom, in order to bring awareness to the environment.

The club wanted to further exemplify their message by cleaning up the Lane Lawn in order to celebrate Earth day and bring together students to give back to the Earth.

“I think it’s pretty important for everyone to realize how important it is to keep our environment clean,” Rizwan said. “It affects us, specifically at Lane, because it’s a pretty huge school and we have a really big lawn, everyone should contribute and help keep it clean.”