A week of green

Zero-waste committee, ASB host sustainability events in honor of Earth Day

During the week following Earth Day, ASB hosted its first Earth week full of themed days and activities leading up to the Earth Day festival. Lasting from April 25-28, Earth week worked to promote sustainability with events such as bike-to-school day and a thrift store, ASB zero-waste committee member, sophomore Thiên-Mai Vu said.

Students gather on April 26 to shop at a thrift store full of clothes donated by other students. (Photo by Joss Broward)

Vu said planning started in January when the committee first applied for a $2000 grant which they eventually received to fund the Earth Day festival. Later in February, Vu said the seven members of the zero-waste committee split up the work to coordinate the week. 

“We first [planned] what we’re going to have on each day and which clubs we would be collaborating with,” Vu said. “[We] advertised to HHS students, made an Earth Day festival post and then during the week [of] spring break, we would make videos [that each pertained to an event of a day].”

Though getting the plan in motion was difficult because several of the committee members had busy schedules, Vu said she chose to think positively.

“A lot of our original ideas didn’t really [follow] through [to the end],” Vu said. “But that’s okay because we can work on it next year since we now have a structure on how [the event] will look.”

While the Earth Day festival had over 100 visitors and was anticipated to be the largest event, Vu said the most popular event was the thrift store in the quad on Wednesday.

The store was originally supposed to be a collaboration with Goodwill and other thrift stores. However, when the plan failed due to communication complications, Vu said they took matters into their own hands and thought of the idea of donating clothes. 

The event then turned into a greater collaboration between the zero waste committee, fashion club and climate crew.

The thrift store was set up as a series of tables and clothing racks on the quad stage. Fashion club officer, junior Genesis Montez said the planning process included creating promotional posters and organizing the clothes. 

“This event promotes sustainability because HHS kids are giving their clothes to recycle with other HHS kids,” Montez said. “It’s not like buying new clothes, it’s recycling.”

Junior Edward Lu purchased a pineapple shirt from the thrift store and said the event encourages the use of second-hand clothes. 

“Events like this are important because first things first, they are fun, and second, they reduce waste,” Lu said. 

Overall, the thrift store raised over $176 and went to the HHS waste management system which consists of staff who clean the school, Vu said. Vu said the zero-waste committee wants to use the money to create more organized trash bins that separate the compost, recycling and trash since the waste management staff does not get paid to sort the trash.

Looking to the future, Vu said Earth Week will likely be a recurring event and hopefully more successful each year.

“Next year, [the zero-waste committee] should think about events that will help attract the general public, and make them come to the festival itself,” Vu said. “And we’re definitely going to have the thrift store again.”