Enviro Club’s Goals to Make West More Sustainable

Phineas Johnson

As the changing climate becomes an increasingly pressing issue, environmental groups are popping up all over the world. In fact, West has its own, headed by Anna Young and Evan Grauer. I met with them to discuss what the club has planned.

Anna Young said that this year the club would be focusing on “a local approach,” saying that they have been working with farms and gardens in the area to help with service projects, as well as being involved in a few protests. She also emphasized a goal to make West more sustainable.

Their eventual plan is to have the funds to pay for food waste to be taken from West to Wasatch Resource Recovery, which uses food waste to help heat houses. West has a surplus of food waste, a consequence of making food for 9 other schools in the area. Young didn’t have the exact numbers for West, but the amount of waste from Wasatch Elementary, a much smaller school that only cooks for itself, was still astounding. Wasatch produces 1,120 pounds of food waste in one month. Now scale that up to a school like West, with 5 times the student population, plus making food for other schools, and the problem is clear.

Unfortunately, the answer is expensive. For just two bins for a year, they will have to pay $6,580. But the plan to get that money is also sustainable, as Evan Grauer told me. “We are also looking to implement a recycling plan. [We will] transport aluminum cans from the school to a company called Metro Recycling, who will pay us for the amount of pounds of aluminum cans that we give to them.” He hopes that it will be a starting point for future recycling at West, and not just a temporary fundraiser.

Perhaps the biggest goal of the group is the final one. Grauer explained that he wants to “…change the culture around the environment at West. Right now there’s this culture of kids not caring, with kids littering around the halls, and people throwing trash into the recycling bin. So I think that starting to change people’s minds is the biggest thing we can do at West, because that will last through people’s lives.”

Grauer’s words ring true and bring to light an incredibly important part of the fight to save our environment: changing people’s minds. The efforts of Grauer and Young, as well as those by the whole club, should be recognized, as they are doing valuable work, even if it’s only on the scale of a highschool.