Environmental Club fosters awareness within the community


Provided by WA Environmental Club

WA Environmental Club promotes climate activism within the community.

Anushka Patil, Co-Editor-in-Chief

In a world with its fair share of problems, it is no wonder that today’s youth are taking it upon themselves to correct the wrongs of the past. Change doesn’t happen overnight; it is with consistent, long-term efforts that solutions to issues such as climate change can be reached. Here, at Westford Academy, small clubs aim for large revolutions.

One such activist organization is Environmental Club, which meets every Tuesday from 2-3:00 p.m. in room 217, and is advised by science teacher Jennifer Girardi. Although only comprised of thirteen members, Environmental Club has sparked numerous initiatives within the community, including renovating WA’s greenhouse. With a goal of informing the school community on the importance of climate change activism, Environmental Club hopes to incite reform through fundraisers, approachable activities, and digestible infographics.

We hope to participate in our community on a larger scale, and contribute to making a lasting impact,” sophomore club member Shailaja Gillett said.

The club was restarted for the 21-22 school year, after not receiving enough support during the remote learning year. Senior co-president Nitish Kaza was inspired in the spring of 2021 to reestablish the club, contacting both Girardi and other senior co-president Stephanie Xu. With both Girardi and Xu on board, the team held a Zoom meeting last June to gauge student interest and was met with several eager, passionate students.

The dedication of the club’s members, according to Kaza, is the reason that meetings have been so fruitful and initiatives so successful.

“We were very excited by how many people showed up to the zoom call. This led to many students coming to our in person meetings since the beginning of this year. We are amazed by our members’ dedication to the club,” Kaza said.

Although already a group of committed students, Environmental Club encourages new members to join at any time within the school year, as help and ideas are always welcome. For sophomore member Malvika Bhardwaj, the club has allowed her to explore climate change activism in multiple forms as well as learn more about environmental sustainability.

It’s not as big as some other clubs, so being a member means having a lot of responsibilities and say in what direction the club goes in. We’re incredibly collaborative. All the members are incredibly nice and it’s great to be around others who share the same passions as you,” Bhardwaj said.

With a lot of ground to cover, each meeting revolves around a particular event the club is holding. Once the event is decided upon, the team then uses the club meeting time to brainstorm, plan, and execute.

“We have very loose agendas so everyone is free to speak and share their thoughts or ideas. For the past few meetings we have been very busy planning the Earth Day activities for the school,” Bhardwaj said. “When we are working on bigger projects we tend to focus on them during our meetings until they pass.”

After diligent planning, the club’s ‘Earth Week’ celebrations, leading up to Earth Day, have started. The club has been and will be releasing a new environmentally-themed Wordle each day this week, and posting trivia to both the announcements and its social media page (@wa_environmentalclub). In addition, on April 4, a stuffed Lorax was passed around to classrooms around WA, and if with the stuffed toy, the classroom was tasked with turning off its lights for the remainder of the period as a way of cutting down energy consumption.

“I think the Earth Day celebration that we’ve planned this year is a work of art and something that our club’s put a lot of effort and thought into,” Xu said. “We hope that this event is going to raise WA’s environmental awareness.”

On April 22, two Environmental Club members, Bhardwaj and fellow sophomore Meghan Gardner, will present speeches on climate change at Westford’s Earth Day celebration on the Town Common.

As for other initiatives, Environmental Club recently fundraised, at WA’s Holiday Bazaar, for the non-profit Sustainable Harvest, which promotes sustainable agriculture in Central and South America. The club was able to donate over half of its earnings, approximately $100, to this organization, and will use the rest to purchase gift cards for Earth Week’s trivia and Wordle winners. WA “upcycling” has also been reintroduced by Environmental Club, as recycling bins have been placed around the school. 

The club also relies on its social media presence to engage students in environmental awareness.

Looking to the future, the club has no intention of slowing its pace, and will be going to the WPS elementary schools this spring to educate students on a plethora of environmental topics.

“We hope to cultivate an interest in the environment in younger students so they can make a difference as they get older,” Kaza said.

With the successes of this year, Girardi looks forward to the future and the many more ways in which Environmental Club will make a difference within its community.

“This is the strongest year we’ve ever had, and I cannot wait to see how our club grows, both in size and presence,” Girardi said.