The Student News Site of Souderton Area High School

The Arrowhead

The Arrowhead

The Student News Site of Souderton Area High School

The Arrowhead

The Student News Site of Souderton Area High School

The Arrowhead

The Arrowhead

Earth Day fosters environmental celebration

Through planting trees and spreading awareness of environmental issues, Souderton students and teachers celebrated the 51st anniversary of Earth Day on April 22. The annual event is enjoyed globally.
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*Replenishing the environment…Watering the flowers, freshman Emily Rychlak works in the greenhouse built near the Souderton Area High School. The flowers and plants were tended to on Earth Day as they grew in the sun. Arrowhead photo by Roman Craig.*

Through planting trees and spreading awareness of environmental issues, Souderton students and teachers celebrated the 51st anniversary of Earth Day on April 22. The annual event is enjoyed globally.
The reminder of environmental issues each year on Earth Day allows Souderton students and teachers to be conscious of the Earth and their effect on it throughout the pandemic.
According to SAVE member Riya Padia, Earth Day is about “bringing attention to a topic that is all too often overlooked.”
The Students Against Violating the Earth Club, or SAVE, is an environmentally-related organization at the high school that helps students get more involved with the environment around them.
Padia said that Earth Day allows students and teachers to take actions with environmental issues.
“I think that Earth Day is a day where initiatives can be taken and inspiration can be spread,” Padia said.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that initiatives were taken on December 31, 1970 with the passing of the Clean Air Act by President Richard Nixon, months after the first official Earth Day on April 22 of 1970.
SAVE faculty advisor Ian Burley said that celebrations on past Earth Days have been of these laws but today’s celebrations are a reminder of spring and the environment’s beauty.
According to Burley, Earth Day can be a reminder that “the environment is a beautiful thing to be valued, to be respected and taken care of.”
These reminders can come in educational events, one of which SAVE ran with the Indian Valley Middle School.
SAVE student officer Katelyn Shuchardt has been taking part in this event for the past three years.
“We did outdoor events just teaching the middle schoolers about the environment and the different ways to protect it and appreciate it,” Shuchardt said.
Shuchardt said, however, that the event did not take place this year because of COVID-19 restrictions.
This was the same for personal activities, such as planting flowers.
SAVE officer Magen Swartley said that big social gatherings this year for Earth Day were not easy to achieve with the pandemic.
“I mean we could wear masks, but I can’t get together with a big group of people,” Swartley said.
These personal activities have been adjusted for restrictions but some people have been continuing to help out others in improving the environment in their own way.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s program “Seedlings for Schools” is an organization that Burley has been involved with that gives out tree seedlings around the season.
“Every year I sign out 400 to 500 tree seedlings so they usually come around Earth Day and I give them out,” Burley said.
Padia said that she was planning on going to a plant nursery and getting some plants to do some personal planting herself at her house.
Along with personal activities on Earth Day, some SAVE members are thinking about what personal decisions they could make to see a more sustainable environment in their own life.
“Currently I am vegetarian, but I have always considered going vegan,” Padia said.
Environmentally-friendly vehicles are also considered.
According to Shuchardt, she would like to “ hopefully purchase an electric vehicle” in the future.
Some students are currently taking actions to reach these future goals.
Swartley said that she has started joining virtual meetings with Greenpeace, an environmental organization which wants to make a more green and peaceful Earth.
“I haven’t done a whole lot because of school and everything,” Swartley said.

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