Environmental Club Helps Make Thousand Oaks High School Greener Than Ever
Eco-minded students turn trash into cash
Thousand Oaks High School is greener than ever thanks to the hard work of the eco-minded students of the school’s Environmental Club.
Every Thursday when the lunch bell rings at 12:08pm – Club Members wheel large trash bins to predesignated locations for teachers and students to fill with the contents of their classrooms’ waste bins. Once packed to the brim with a variety of aluminum, plastic and paper items they are moved to the outside of room E4 where a team of rubber-glove clad students excitedly wait to sort the heaps of recyclable goods.
Items are sorted into bins and bags, which are later dropped off at a recycling facility for money that the club then uses for upcoming projects to further promote its mission.
It all began about 14 years ago when Heather Farrell, a GeoScience, Earth Science and AP Environmental Science teacher at TOHS started an Environmental Club for students. The Club’s name has changed over the years (most recently it was named ACE – Alliance for Climate Education & TOHS Recycle Club), but the mission remains the same: help make the TOHS campus and local community greener. Currently there are thirty students in the Club and they all share a singular passion - helping the environment.
“I want students to have a passion for the environment around them and I want them to learn to protect it,” Heather said. “When students take part in the Thursday recycling they are able to see the waste of what goes into trash cans and what could have been recycled.”
Victoria, a senior at Thousand Oaks High School and President of the Environmental Club, says she has her eye on taking what she learned from AP Environmental Studies and the Environmental Club to a possible future college degree in environmental studies.
“I’m really passionate about the environment,” Victoria said. “The Environmental Club is really looking to branch out into doing specific projects to help the school go into a more environmentally friendly place.”
In addition to the weekly campus-wide recycling initiative, the Environmental Club also does beach clean-ups with partner Heal the Bay, creek clean-ups, trail work, community awareness raising initiatives for Earth Day, and garden work in the TOHS habitat garden.
“We are educating the next generation to be a little greener,” Heather said. “I want them to have a planet to move forward in and I think by recycling it gives them hope that they can help make a difference.”