The Environmental Club Keeps Sandy Hook Safe!


Students acting on their passion of cleaning up their home- Earth!

The Environmental Club has been one of the most active and fastest growing clubs that Becton has to offer. This club is run by Ms. Calasso, a biology teacher at Becton Regional High School. The Environmental Club has gained wide attraction. Initially, the club began with 36 members, now it currently has 93 members! The most recent activity that the Environmental Club participated in was the cleaning of Sandy Hook. This idea was inspired by the current club members, who seem to always have the best and most compassionate ideas. The members specifically chose this location because of the significance of it being a popular National Park in the area, and the wide traction it has gained over the past few years. The members predicted that the beaches would be flooded with debris after a lively summer and this was proven correct based upon the amount of litter that they collected. 

Park Ranger Quinn Gilly sharing his experience working in Sandy Hook, as well as some historical background of the National Park!

As they arrived at the beach, the students were greeted by Park Ranger Quinn Gilly. He shared his experience working in Sandy Hook, as well as some historical background of the National Park. He showed his gratitude to all the students by expressing how thoughtful their actions were to the community. Gilly stated, “Everything we do on land ends up in our ocean. What you are doing today is no small act. Since this is a National Park, you are doing a service to everyone in the country.” He showed the fellow students the proper way to dispose of common litter that was seen such as plastic, syringes, and even needles. Park Ranger Gilly even provided materials for the clean-up. The crew spent two hours total cleaning up the beach. The members were able to spread out and clean different areas like shores, dunes, and beach areas. As an added plus, Mrs. Muniz, a knowledgeable biology teacher that accompanied the club on the trip, was able to give the students insight into various organisms that were found on the shore. Thus, this was a wonderful learning experience for all the students involved. The students became more motivated to participate in recycling and informing others about the importance of cleaning up after yourself. This clean-up had a positive impact that it even created a few fundraiser ideas. The student took to social media about the use of plastic straws, and are planning to sell reusable straws and collect bottle caps to make a difference in the world!

Ms. Calasso leading the Environmental Club in the beach clean-up.

Following the trip, fellow members showed their appreciation for the planet. Juan Tamayo Palacio, a member of the Environmental Club for two years now, communicated his enlightening involvement at the National Park trip, “This was such an eye-opening experience! I think everyone should join the environmental club because you get to truly understand the impact people can have on the planet.” He was also able to reveal the most surprising aspects of the field trip, this included the amount of litter that was found in two hours. Palacio shared, “In just two minutes, 48 bottle caps were collected! Towards the end of the field trip, approximately 300-400 bottle caps were accumulated.” This was the biggest takeaway from the trip. For many members, like Palacio, their interest was sparked. Many questions were circulating among the members such as: “How are the bottle caps getting onto the beach? Why aren’t they being recycled with their bottles? Do bottle caps need to be recycled separately from bottles?” This would be research the members would take home with them, do their best to find the answers to, and then actively work to prevent.

Moving forward, students on the trip demonstrated their respect for the environment, and are trying to make an effort to limit the use of plastic and other harmful items. Ms. Calasso indicated that she would love to continue this program and expand to the local park districts in the area so that she can make a direct impact in her own community as well. The Environmental Club has orchestrated other events in the Becton Community, one having been the Halloween Costume clothing drive that three school districts, Maywood, Carlstadt and East Rutherford, participated in. Another upcoming event is America’s Recycle Day Challenge for the whole month of November. The Environmental Club will be collecting clothes and shoe donations, while promoting tips and information on recycling. Every Wildcat is welcome to come and show their support!

Environmental Club November Activity: America Recycles Day Challenge!

Ms. Calasso leaves students with this key information, “It’s one thing to learn about why it’s important to recycle, but to hands-on experience and see the effects, is so much more powerful.” This event was able to serve as a way to give back to the planet and community. Everyone was able to gather a plethora of information from helping out and now have a better understanding of the significance of community service. The Environmental Club strives for the Becton Community to be aware of their actions and of the impact it can have on our home, the Earth.