Oh, fall. A few precious months of crisp air, falling leaves, and… a barrage of alarming news reports about severe hurricanes devastating the southeast. Though news coverage of hurricanes Michael and Florence has dwindled since the initial pandemonium in early autumn, it continues to disturb me that storms like these are becoming a predictable occurrence each year. The effects of climate change are increasingly wreaking havoc, from last year’s Hurricane Harvey to this past summer’s heat wave to the number of excessively rainy days we’ve experienced this season. Reading about and experiencing these effects is disheartening, considering that my generation reportedly will face much worse in the decades to come.
Fortunately, even though we can’t stop these deadly storms in a heartbeat, this community is making efforts to become more sustainable. Wilton High School recently implemented a Zero Waste initiative to encourage students to separate their waste into compost, recycling and regular garbage bins. Though students are still adjusting to this new policy, it is a step in the right direction for our school, which can now serve as a model to other institutions in Connecticut. Furthermore, Wilton High School’s Recycling Club is working on several initiatives to promote environmental awareness within the school and community. One of these is our textile recycling program, which encourages Wilton students and residents to place their used clothing in bins in the high school’s senior parking lot rather than simply throwing them in the trash to be taken to a landfill. These programs require minimal effort from students, only an understanding that we all have the responsibility to help combat an issue of increasing urgency: wasteful energy consumption .