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Keeping It Clean

Keeping It Clean

Every Friday, they make the rounds at Jesuit High School, gathering up the recyclables and spearheading a process that helps keep the school clean and make the planet a little better.

On weekends, they participate in clean-up and awareness events in the Tampa Bay area.

And in their spare time, they’re educating classmates on proper recycling procedures, with a how-to video coming soon on the JTNN morning show.

The members of Jesuit’s Environmental Club are actively making a difference here on campus and in the greater community.

Their impact is measureable. The paper recycling program started on campus in 2009, and since Aug. 2011 up until the start of this school year, Jesuit’s recycling efforts have produced 49.46 tons (98,920 pounds) of paper products, and saved about 841 trees and 164 cubic yards of landfill space. (The data is provided by GreenFiber, a company that purchases and recycles Jesuit’s paper.)

Last month, seven Environmental Club members participated in the Hillsborough River and Coastal Clean-Up at Al Barnes Park in Tampa. The participants, photographed on the homepage with club moderator Vindri Gajadhar, are (L-R) Jonathan Ryan ’16, Alex Armenteros ’16, Joshua Barlaan ’16, Jeffrey Turn ’16, George Morgan ’18, Rey Riveros ’16, and Jordan Lassiter ’16.

Mrs. Gajadhar described the Sept. 19 event: “It was a beautiful day for environmental service. We met at Al Barnes Park to lend a hand in the Hillsborough River and Coastal Clean-Up, which is the local version of what is a coordinated global clean-up around the world on that day. This annual event draws volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to beautify their communities. In 2014, an estimated 680,000 people from 91 countries collected roughly 16 million pounds of trash. Our participation this year lasted all morning and resulted in the removal of pounds of litter from the park. The most common trash was cigarette butts, followed by pieces of plastic packaging. Broken pieces of glass and caps from plastic bottles were also in abundance. The Jesuit team broke into two groups and combed the grounds for litter, keeping track of every piece of trash on tally sheets that will be sent to the United Nations for statistical records. It was a memorable morning, and club members will come together again in the spring to participate in the Great American Clean-Up. Many thanks to the volunteers who gave up their Saturday morning to help clean and preserve our Earth.”

Under the leadership of the club president, Ryan; vice president, Riveros; and secretary Dane Belton ’19, the Environmental Club is very active, with members such as Tyler Ballehr ’16, Justin Hoffman ’16, Ryan Kervin ’17, and Seku Morris ’16 helping to look for ways expand and improve its programs while educating new students on the importance of keeping the environment healthy, and of proper recycling protocol.

Jasper Creman ’16 and Turn are producing the JTNN segment, with several others performing in the piece, which will play off of Jesuit’s recently announced “For Greater Glory” capital campaign.

A canoe trip along the Hillsborough River at John B. Sargent Park in Thonotasassa is coming up later this month. And in the spring is The Great American Clean-Up, the nation’s largest community improvement program, in which Jesuit participates as an affiliate of Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful.

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