Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Planting Seeds of Change

Posted 12/08/2023 by Sophia Nicholson

The Sustainability Club is saving the environment, one tree at a time. photo by Ravi Apte

TJ’s Sustainability Club is taking the next steps in helping the environment.

TJ’s Sustainability Club is dedicated to work on helping educate the TJ community about ways to become more environmentally conscious. The club focuses both on teaching the community to be more environmentally friendly, especially around the TJ campus, and on doing projects in order to help the environment. The club meets once a week to discuss fundraising projects, cleanups, and different ways to alert the community on the impacts of climate change and ways to apply it to everyday life. 

The main goals of the Sustainability Club students are to help educate everyone on ways to apply sustainability into the everyday lives of students and teachersin order to create change within the community. Generally, students in the sustainability club focus on taking next step initiatives to start helping the environment recover from the mess that has been in the making for centuries. Not only do students focus on how the steps they take today will help the environment now, but also how education and action will help future generations. They often plan to conduct in and out of school activities surrounding bettering the environment and raising awareness around climate change. 

Junior Adelaide Krabbenhoft is the co-president of the Sustainability Club. She explained the ways that members have taken steps to help the environment and the community. “We have partnered with places like Southmoor Elementary to do sustainable costume swaps, and had DPS environmental reps come speak with us about how we can create a larger impact,” said Krabbenhoft. 

Another way the club has helped the TJ community is by creating a system for students to get rid of their waste during lunch. By creating a three-way waste system in the school cafeteria, students helped illustrate the importance of proper waste disposal in the health of the planet. An additional project the club has taken in order to educate others is during Earth Week, when the club showcases educational videos surrounding climate change and other important environment-centered topics. 

One of the biggest future goals of the Sustainability Club is to continue to grow their community as new students come to TJ every year. Krabbenhoft hopes that sustainability club “can be presented as a non judgmental place where anyone interested can be a part of helping the environment.” 

The goals of the Sustainability Club really rely on the growth in members to conduct future plans. Not only does the club want to help the environment, but they want to inspire others to take steps in their everyday lives to help the community. Junior Riley Rimkus, co-president of the Sustainability Club, explains that “this will help to educate more people and grow the community of people who hope to take steps to benefit the environment.” In addition, the club wants to continue to participate in more projects around the community of TJ, such as park cleanups. 

The leadership of Sustainability Club even offered some steps to be more environmentally friendly in community members’ everyday life. “Getting involved in our surrounding community will also make an impact because we will be able to take steps to clean up our neighborhoods and bring a positive outlook on simple actions we can take in our everyday lives,” explained Rimkus. Another way to be sustainable is by buying things like clothes second hand, boycotting fast-fashion, or helping make clothes last as long as possible. A large contributor to people making excess waste in their life is people constantly buying brand new things and getting rid of them a year later, creating much more waste globally. In addition, taking public transportation like the RTD can help to combat emissions and is a great way of saving money on gas. One can also consider becoming a vegetarian. Produce for vegetarians has increased over the years, making it increasingly easier to take the next steps in helping the environment. The Sustainability Club is helping the TJ community be more environmentally friendly.