These Eagle County kids care about the Earth |

These Eagle County kids care about the Earth

Matt Terrell
Vail, CO Colorado
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyJunior Sierra Murphy, right, explains one of her ideas for Earth Day during an Enviromental Club meeting at Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum.

GYPSUM, Colorado ” Just next to a large vending machine full of bottled water at Eagle Valley High School is a colorful hand drawn poster asking you to reconsider your potentially damaging purchase.

Most water bottles end up as waste, the sign tells you, and there are few more public-service announcements like this posted around the school, on the stairwell, on the theater entrance. According to one poster, more than 40 million bottles a day went into the trash or on the ground in 2003.

“Save the environment, drink tap” is the catchphrase on one.

Another poster quotes a poem written by a six-year-old girl, with verses like “If people in the world would pick up trash, I would throw a happy bash!” and “If we walk, ride our bike or take the bus, we could breath air without a fuss.”

It’s hard to say how much effect these signs will have, but at least they’re there, preaching the good word. They’re the handiwork of Hannah Hibbs and Teresa Peterson, members of the school’s Environmental Club, a team of students dedicated to infecting other people with the green bug.

The Environmental Club existed years ago at the school, disappeared for a long time, started again this year, right in time for the country’s growing obsession with all things green.

Mostly, these students are interested in education ” teaching other students and the community about the big problems facing the environment, like water bottles and all their unbiodegradable horror.

Earth day is coming up, April 22, which will take some planning. It’s the Christmas of the environmental world, a celebration of our planet and a call to arms to treat it right.

At the last meeting, the students brainstormed ways to make the most out of Earth Day.

“We can do a cleanup.”

“Can we plant a tree?”

“We should all carpool that day. Get everyone to carpool.”

“We should have an assembly.”

They talked some about going over the Gypsum Creek Middle School and teaching the students about recycling and conserving energy ” “We should totally get a mini enviro club going there.”

The club helps out a lot with recycling at the high school. Over the course of the year, students from every homeroom will go around the school, collecting all the recyclables, and members of the Environmental Club show them how its done.

“Every student in the school will have helped with recycling ” it’s not just an issue four students should be dealing with,” said Ashley Newman, a teacher and the club’s advisor. “It takes a half hour of their time, and when they’re finished, they generally feel good.”

The club also raffled off a $50 gift certificate for Grand Avenue Grill, which raised $140 that was donated to the Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability.

Their next fundraiser will be selling cloth grocery bags.

Staff Writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 748-2955 or

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