Students give back to Mother Earth


Naccarato planned a fundraiser with fellow senior Kam Watkins to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund by raffling off Hydroflasks and tote bags, selling metal straws, and collecting donations. Photo by Olivia Marler.

Olivia Marler, Former Deputy Opinion Editor

This previously ran in our April 2022 print issue. 

Since 1970, April 22 has been the day to marvel at and embrace planet Earth with an environmental movement that continues to sweep the nation, as Earth Day is celebrated worldwide. 

American companies were consuming large amounts of nonrenewable resources without any restrictions up until 1970, and Americans were oblivious of the health and environmental impacts that their lifestyles were having on themselves and future generations. Many families did not even know what recycling was. Some environmentalists during this time were trying to spread awareness about these impacts on the ever-growing planet, and as a result of this push, the first Earth Day was held in 1970 to educate about environmental issues and raise awareness for the protection of our planet. This day led to the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. 

And it worked. Based on the results of a survey from the EPA, or Environmental Protection Agency, Earth Day caused a permanent change in the attitudes of most Americans.

According to the survey, in May of 1971, almost a quarter of the U.S. public, “declared protecting the environment to be an important goal, a 2,500 percent increase over 1969.” 

Ever since then, Earth Day celebrations have grown larger. In 1990, it went global. The Earth Day Network, a nonprofit organization that looks over Earth Day activities, estimated that 140 nations were participating with roughly 200 million participants spread across the globe. 

This year at Emmaus High School, students are discovering different ways to participate and celebrate Earth Day 2022. 

EHS Earth Watch club has multiple projects and events that they are supporting in recognition of Earth Day; and through one of their efforts, they are helping AP Environmental Science students Kameron Watkins and Olivia Naccarato sell reusable straws at lunch. 

“From learning about what we have in my AP Environmental class, we need to change the way we live our lives, and I felt really connected to it from learning about it more in class and so we wanted to help,” Naccarato said. 

At their table, students and teachers can also enter a raffle for the chance to win a Hydroflask or Baggu bag. They are also accepting regular monetary donations. The funds they raise go to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which works to help local communities conserve their natural resources, encourages sustainable practices in policy and market, and strives to protect species and their habitats as well as restore them. 

Earth Watch also plans to redo one of the Envirothon trophy cases in the science hallway, giving creative freedom to junior Charles Cuadra and senior Chelsea Terry-Alcantara for the remodel. The project is set to be finished in mid-May, complete with a fresh new look.

Junior Grace Glowacki is the president of the Earth Watch club at Emmaus and wants the remodeled trophy case to serve as a reminder of how sustainability matters every day.

“We hope to revamp this case in order to show sustainable habits that people can use on a daily basis and show their impact on the environment,” Glowacki said. 

AP Environmental Science and Geology of the National Parks students went on a hike on April 22 to celebrate the holiday and take a step out of the classroom. Students have spent the whole year educating themselves on environmental problems and events, getting to know the impacts of everyday actions on the Earth. 

Among this diverse group of students, there is one common interest: a passion for protecting the environment for generations to come. 

The National Honor Society was also given the opportunity to volunteer in several Earth Day clean-up events as one of their projects. Olivia Sullivan, a senior at Emmaus High School, organized a clean-up in April at Jordan Park. Members were also given the option to participate in another Earth Day event host- ed by the Emmaus and Upper Milford Joint Environmental Advocacy Council. This event took place at Emmaus Community Park on April 22 and was a night filled with family activities for kids to enjoy. In almost all areas of the country and globe, including Emmaus High School, Earth Day has grown larger than ever expected. 

Tessa Fritz, a senior student in AP Environmental Science, has a passion for protecting the planet for the generations to come, not only limited to Earth Day. 

“It is important to focus on what the Earth actually provides for us not just on one day but every day year round,” Fritz said.