PHS Students Work Towards Helping the Environment

Natural resources are being used at a faster rate than they can recover and landfills are being filled at an increasing rate. The current system of production, consumption and disposal has become unsustainable, all according to the National Institute of Health.

Many students and activists are trying to make a positive change to the environment. This includes some Puyallup High School students who are trying to make a change, little by little, not to just beautify the school, but to protect the environment from damage.

School-based groups such as the Future Farmers of America and the Gardening Club try to make a change in their effort to help the local community stay green.

Senior Anahad Judge is president of the Gardening Club, which started when she was a sophomore. Judge has a passion for gardening and says she wants to improve the school through the club’s activities.

“Gardening Club is a club dedicated toward people who enjoy planting,” Judge said. “It’s mostly focused on helping the environment at school.”

The club works hard to realize that goal, despite not having many members.

“We do have a nice team of seven [core members] who are willing to go and help,” Judge said.

Even with the small numbers, Judge says this hasn’t stopped what the club has been able to accomplish.

“As of now, we’re mostly busy,” Judge said. “We weeded out the area near the CTE building.”

As of 2018, the United States Food and Drug Administration estimated around 4.1 percent of wasted food (2.6 million tons) was composted. For the Gardening Club, one of the current initiatives and focus involves composting. Composting is a process in which food and other organic materials are recycled and turned into fertilizer, making soil richer and more nutritious.

“We are trying to promote students to be able to use a compost bin, [which] could save the cost for composting and fertilizer,” Judge said.

Studies have shown that plants grow quicker in soil with compost added into it, because it allows them to pull more carbon dioxide out of the air.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the amount of greenhouse gases could be significantly reduced by using composted soil for plants on a large scale.

The Future Farmers of America organization, also called FFA, has students who are also committed to bettering the local environment.

Senior Marlie Sloan is the Vice President of the PHS FFA, which has around 10 active members and describes the club as “lean[ing]…on the environmental side…” and says that FFA is similar to Gardening Club.

“We…helped move some raised garden beds over at [a] church…[and] participate in gardening,” Sloan said.

Sloane also gave some advice on ways to help the environment such as recycling and not wasting things.

“Being conscious about the things you use and recycling, [making] sure you don’t use too [many harmful materials],” Sloane said.

The FFA also hosts drives to help the environment and animals, such as an annual plant sale “where we grow tomatoes, lettuce, and basil, from seed,” according to Sloan, and a pet food drive.

The Gardening Club meets every first and third Wednesday after school at Room 233, and the Schoology code is 9J83-P4G6-5RQG3.

The FFA meets every other Wednesday after school at Room 234, and the Schoology code is S49C6-TKVJH.