Cal High students have decided to take a stand and do their part to help educate other students and make a positive impact on the Earth. Through local organizations, students are taking steps toward creating a better environment through several on-campus clubs, including the Botanical Bears, Green Team and Eco-Case.
Botanical Bears is greening Cal’s look by adding more color and life with the planting of flowers around campus.
One of the main ideas behind the club is to not only benefit the campus, but also the student body as well. Students may feel stressed while on campus and nature is a good way for them to take a break.
“Nature is important for mental health,” junior Devyani Pathak, president of Botanical Bears, said. “Seeing dull colors is detrimental to health, so seeing nature and colors are really important.”
Botanical Bears strive to spread positivity while getting people involved outdoors and in nature. They hope to help people see the beauty of the outdoors.
This year, the club has successfully completed the task of weeding the garden boxes near the Fine Arts building, where they intend to plant vegetables and flowers.
They hope that the garden adds to the scenery of campus, while also helping the environment since they will be planting California native flowers in it.
“I think it’s important to do our part,” Pathak said. “It’s important to take small steps and do good things for the environment while doing what we want to do.”
Cal’s Green Team is on a mission to educate students about the environment while providing volunteering opportunities and other ways to help out.
“I joined because I wanted to meet people who want to improve the planet,” sophomore Isabella Salvan said. “I also wanted to meet people who pursue selfless efforts relating to the environment.”
The Green Team’s meetings consist of board members reviewing slides with information about a specific environmental issue and then the members of the club discuss it.
“It’s really important to spread the word,” junior Anshul Chennavaram, president of Green Team, said. “Educating people is the least we can do.”
Along with educating members at meetings, the club tries to spread awareness and information by taking action through out-of-school activities. In the past, the club has tended to gardens and hosted beach cleanups.
“I did one of the beach cleanups and we learned about plastic when we were there,” junior Alexander Deweese said. “It was pretty relaxed and fun.”
The club also plans to potentially team up with Cal’s Interact Club to restart Cal High’s garden.
“The idea is to make compost out of the unused fruits and vegetables from lunch,” Chennavaram said. “I feel like it would be a good solution to multiple problems.”
Eco-Case is a small business that was founded under the Junior Achievement of NorCal program and is run by Cal and Dublin High School students. It was created to combat the increasing levels of plastic pollution by spreading awareness and making phone cases.
Plastic phone cases are a huge contributor to plastic waste. Phone cases are a common product for people to have, so people don’t immediately realize their impact on the environment.
“We recognized that one big contributor is plastic phone cases because so many are thrown out,” Dublin High junior Samia Ahmer, the Chief Managing Officer of Eco-Case, said. “We would like to help people find more sustainable options that are also trendy.”
The business creates silicone-based phone cases and recyclable glass-beaded phone chains that are eco-friendly. They also strive to make their phone cases visually appealing so people can be sustainable while still looking cool.
“We just want to reduce the amount of plastic used in everyday life,” Cal junior Bori Kim, Eco-Case’s Chief Financial Officer, said. “So in order to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills, we can use eco-friendly options.”
Along with making phone cases, the business also spreads awareness about pollution and eco-friendliness through their frequently updated eco-newsletter. Through this newsletter, they promote ways to support the movement in everyday life.
“It displays our favorite books, music, media, and videos about our planet and environment,” Cal junior Shruti Kale, Eco-Case’s Chief Executive Officer, said. “We are planning to post more ways people can be sustainable so they can still contribute to the cause without buying a product, showing our true dedication to our planet.”
In honor of Earth Day, Eco-Case hosted a 10 percent sale on all products. Ten percent of Eco-Case’s profits are donated to environmental aid and betterment charities. Currently, they donate 5 percent of their profits to Coral Gardeners, an organization focused on coral restoration. They donate the other 5 percent to Ocean Conservancy,which works to create solutions for healthier oceans and communities.
“Our goal is to help little by little and get people to start using eco-friendly materials,” Cal junior Aditi Nanda, the Certified Scrum Product Owner with Eco-Case, said. “We just need to start being aware of what we are using and how that’s affecting our planet.”