By Joseph Pennacchio

Julia Weiss, Molly Charney and Casey Tilles empty recycling bins
Julia Weiss, Molly Charney and Casey Tilles empty recycling bins

On several Thursdays each month, the Treehuggers assemble in Mrs. Constantinou’s room to work to help save the environment. This club was founded in 2005 by Bhavya Reddy but has been taken up by current students. “Three others who were one grade below her and also instrumental in getting it off the ground and building steam were Elaine Rigney, Andreia Devries, and Jackie Sider,” said club advisor Mrs. Constantinou.

It has continued to grow in its mission to make Briarcliff High School a greener place. Officers Daniel Jablansky, Julia Weiss, Molly Charney, Casey Tilles and Lexy Praeger have helped to expand its role in the school. They initially joined to help keep the planet sustainable for future generations and make BHS more environmentally friendly.

This year, the Treehuggers have voluntarily decided to run the school’s recycling program on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month. Several years back, the 8th grade community service class recycled weekly in the high school, but as of the 2011-2012 school year and the development of the trimester system there, that class is no longer offered. The recycling service at the school didn’t really exist last year, but these Treehuggers felt it was important to recycle anyway.

Club President Daniel Jablansky poses as a tree
Photo by Jack Fischer

Thousands of sheets of paper are printed in the school each week by both students and faculty. The papers may be of true importance, or they might be the type of paper where you read it or edit it and then you throw it away because you don’t need it anymore. The quantity of wasted paper has decreased as a result of how the faculty has become more conscious of paper needs and the Follow-You printing system, which forces people to log in to print. There is also the ability for you to delete something from the printer even after you send it to be printed. Even with all of this, several thousand sheets of paper need to be recycled weekly, and without organized recycling taking place in the school all of that paper would be trashed and the benefits of recycling wouldn’t be fully realized.

Still, Treehuggers is more than a club that recycles plastic, paper, glass, cell phones and ink cartridges. The Treehuggers also work to spread the messages of the importance of sustainability and conservation to the school community. In the past few years, the Treehuggers have gone to Todd School in the spring around Earth Day to perform a show for 1st graders about what it means to be sustainable. Last year, they acted out The Lorax by Dr. Seuss in order to help young kids be aware of what they can do to save the environment. The Treehuggers also are looking into doing something special on Earth Day this year.

Treehuggers is looking for more members to join their exciting community, in which they work to give back to the environment that we all interact with on a daily basis. The environment provides us with resources to build homes and make food, so why shouldn’t you help support it? If you want to have a blast and help the environment in which we live, join Treehuggers Club!


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