The 50th anniversary of Earth Day is Wednesday, April 22, and The Masters School’s environmental and sustainability initiative, EFFECT, is taking the celebration online. Due to the current stay-at-home order, what once would have been an on-campus event has been reorganized into a month of virtual activities, challenges and competitions for the Masters community to participate in from home.
Senior co-president Olivila Sharenow said, “We are living through some crazy times, but despite that, we still need to be making a positive impact and keep being aware of how we impact the earth. We still want to make sure that we’re thinking about how we can help the planet, even from home.”
Each week has a new theme ranging from environmental justice to water consumption. Members of EFFECT leadership stepped up to plan all the weeks’ activities; however, one of their main concerns is making sure there is still participation from the community.
“The people who are leading each week have all been really great and on top of their work, it’s just hard to know if people are still doing the activities or reading what we send out,” Sharenow said.
Senior Sophia Forstmann, the other co-president, said, “During the week of Earth Day/ Arbor Day last year on campus, we had huge events. We had a farmers market on the quad, planted trees and were able to get a lot of the school community involved. Now it’s more difficult because we don’t want to be sending out too many emails, but we also don’t want the celebration to get lost because people are working really hard on it.”
For virtual Earth Day, activities – such as starting your own compost, taking a nature walk while picking up trash or posting your favorite environmental meme and tagging @mastersEFFECT on Instagram – get you points in a competition; the prize is complete with a World Wildlife Fund endangered stuffed animal of your choice, an adoption certificate and more. The Arbor Day celebration on Friday, April 24 includes a tree scavenger hunt, where participants should send in pictures of trees identifying the type and include a fun fact; each picture sent in is one tree planted.