By Sadie Ross

This year, the Frontier Environmental Club, composed of 8th and 9th graders, decided to take steps creating change in the school. We hope that this will lead to further changes and inspire other schools to follow suit.

This year, it all started for us when we attended the Youth Climate Summit. This is an educational, 2-day conference that allows students who are passionate about the environment, to create an action plan to carry out through the rest of the school year.

After creating our action plan at the summit, we came back to Frontier knowing that a) we needed to raise funds for our ideas, and b) we needed to use the connections we had gained at the conference to follow through on our action plan.

To raise funds, we decided to order and sell “Frontier” water bottles for our projects. After this, we talked to an intern at CET (Center for Ecotechnology) that we were put into contact with and from her, we were able to gain both information about the realistic parts of our plan, and gain items to improve our schools energy efficiency.

This included low flow faucet heads, to decrease excessive flow of water and recycling bins, to encourage recycling at Frontier. Via different organizations, we have had the ability to organize multiple energy and electrical audits to see what we can do to lower Frontier’s energy consumption.

We are currently working to change our light bulbs, they are 64 watts as of now, and have the potential to be close to 10 watts. This is all part of our climate action plan which is moving forward.

We have also completed many presentations to a variety of audiences this year. These presentations include The Salamander Fundraiser Brunch, MEES (Mass Environmental Education Society), a lesson at Agawam Cooler Climate Summit, a lesson to the 8th grade on water conservation, a faculty meeting about power-strips and heaters, and a climate change focussed lesson in Deerfield Elementary.

We also had the pleasure of attending a climate strike in Connecticut. In addition we  purchased reusable drinking cups for the cafeteria, reusable towels for science teachers, and power strips.

This has been a very productive year for the environmental club and now that we are on the planning committee for the Youth Climate Summit, it is great to know that we will have an impact on other students hoping to accomplish climate action plans.

We are excited to say we have even more plans for next year, some of which will hopefully extend past Frontier to make an even more significant change.