Bearcats Celebrate Eco Day


David Li ’21

Mr. Jason Maier and Brendon Stalleart ’22 help Nani Veluchamy ’22 pick up trash on the side of the road.

As the reality of climate change becomes ever more pressing, students and faculty gathered to engage in activities contributing to the local environment.
On April 25, Students for Environmental Action (SEA) collaborated with St. Luke’s to organize the annual Eco Day.
The day began with an address by Sam Eaton, an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. Eaton is the founding senior reporter for sustainability coverage at Marketplace, a public radio program. Eaton screened and discussed his featured report on PBS NewsHour, which highlighted indigenous people’s dangerous work preserving the Amazon, which includes preventing illegal logging and promoting sustainable crops. Eaton highlighted the Guajajara tribe’s Amazon-protecting vigilantes and their fight against government-backed encroachment on their land. Eaton told students, “You are the next climate warriors, and our place in the world depends on what you do.”
After an outdoor lunch on Bissell Common, advisory groups contributed to outdoor projects benefitting the local community, such as working on the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center farm, helping the Northeast Community Center’s garden project, or transplanting raspberry bushes on Fairfield Farm. Georgia Chan ’19, co-head of SEA, said, “St. Luke’s has been incredibly helpful in allowing us to expand the range of activities we offer for students this year. They used their

You are the next climate change warriors, and our place in the world depends on what you do.

— Sam Eaton

contacts at local organizations…to give students an opportunity to impact our surrounding community. It’s easy for us to forget the amazing resources we have around us. For example, Sam Eaton lives just up the road from Hotchkiss, and there are plenty of wonderful organizations that we should look into helping more often.”
Ms. Jennifer Rinehart, instructor in environmental science, noted that, in order to enact meaningful change, individuals need to recognize the impact of their actions on the earth’s systems. She said, “We need to learn how we as individuals and a community can make intelligent choices. But more importantly, we need to learn how to peel away personal bias to truly understand the science of climate systems and how human activities change them.”
SEA promotes environmental conservation on campus throughout the year. The club conducted a screening of the climate change documentary Before the Flood in the Faculty Room on March 24. The club hoped to spark awareness about climate change and its effects before Eco Day. In addition, it has started a newsletter with updates on environmental issues that impact the world, like the reinstatement of whale hunting in Japan.
To get involved, students can attend SEA’s weekly meetings on Friday at 6:30 p.m or send the heads, Chan, Annabelle Duval ’19, and Michael Duncan ’19, ideas for the newsletter.