At CVU, the clubs that take place during C3 offer many opportunities for students to have fun, learn, rest or just go outside and breathe fresh air.
In the EnACT Club led by Katie Antos-Ketchum, students learn about environmental issues but also go outside to see the animals in order to become aware of and connect with nature.
“WE ARE FACING THE HARD TRUTHS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE AND TAKING ACTIONS AGAINST IT. WE CARE DEEPLY ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT AND WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE THROUGH ADVOCACY, ACTION AND EDUCATION. IF THIS SOUNDS LIKE YOU AND YOU WANT TO BE AROUND PEOPLE WHO FEEL THE SAME, JOIN OUR CLUB TODAY!” follow us @ENACTCVU
In 2013, CVU installed sorting stations in the cafeteria to separate trash, recycling, and compost. They were designed by students in EnACT (Environmental Action Club). Although all of the students currently at CVU have been using the stations since they started here, problems with sorting remain.
Grace Hemmelgarn and Tess Cloutier, the EnACT members leading the project to improve the stations and educate people about proper use, had some insights about why students have trouble knowing where to put their garbage. According to Hemmelgarn, “common mistakes include chip bags, brown salad boats, [and] wax paper.” Many of the items that confuse students come from food packaged by the cafeteria. For example, the salad containers are made from plant-based plastic, which is compostable. Since they look like typical plastic containers, however, they are often found in the recycling bin. Similarly, wax paper, which also belongs in the compost, often ends up in the trash. When a ‘batch’ of recycling or compost has an item that does not belong, the whole container is thrown away. In this way, more material ends up in landfills instead of where it belongs.
Since the installation of the sorting stations, EnACT has done several projects directed to improve sorting accuracy. EnACT members have conducted several “trash audits”, where students sorted waste pulled from the landfill and recycling bins to figure out commonly misplaced items. Posters were put up around the school with pictures of these items and their proper places in the stations.
Here in Vermont, students care a lot about the environment and how their actions correspond with climate change. Just ask the students in the EnACT club at CVU. These students have created projects that have spread statewide. “We were one of the pilot schools in this energy challenge and now schools across the state are using the same words, same language,” Katie Antos-Ketcham, the EnACT advisor states. EnACT stands for Environmental Action Club. It is a club where students encourage, educate, and act on making CVU an environmentally friendly place. Antos-Ketcham emphasizes the word action because, “while it is important to learn about the environment, it is also really important to do something,” and EnACT certainly has. CVU has come a long way through past and present EnACT initiatives.