NEWS: SEAC strives for increased involvement in environmental initiatives


Rebecca Scott

SEAC members spend their afternoon in nature kayaking on Whalon Lake at Naperville Kayak

On September 18, Student Environmental Action Coalition Club went on a kayaking field trip to Whalon Lake at Naperville Kayak to provide members an activity in nature. The field trip is one of the many activities done in SEAC to get people involved with the environment. 

“Exposure to nature helps with people caring about the environment and then helps with all environmental issues. It’s a good way to get people involved,” SEAC president and co-founder Brooke Hopwood said.

The faculty sponsor of the club, Rebecca Scott, has had many opportunities to take students on various trips in the past, such as taking kids to Costa Rica to look at monkeys. Therefore when it came to the kayaking trip, there was overall ease in the set-up process and ensuring the safety of students during the trip. 

“I felt comfortable … I didn’t feel worried. If something happened in the kayak, we’re good, Ms. Scott’s there to help,” Scott said.

“There’s a lot of planning that goes into it. We’re working on other field trips too so it’ll just depend on how things come together,” Hopwood said. 

Besides field trips, SEAC members take part in other activities. Within those activities includes a variety of crafts that utilize nature to create something new.

“For me as a teacher, it’s really satisfying to find ways that are very inexpensive using the environment to get connected to nature. Today we went outside and used pinecones from the trees on campus to repurpose them to support the wild bird population. All those concepts of reusing and finding the best ways to utilize what you already have instead of buying new is very satisfying for me,” Scott said.

“A couple of our main purposes – one is to start environmental initiatives around the school, so we made the garden, we’re working on composting. We do some environmental science career opportunities. We talked to two professors last year. And then we just do crafts,” Hopwood said. 

“We did some work with making plarn, plastic yarn, last year so we’re going to try and do something with the plarn that we had. Then probably we’ll talk to the professors again if they’re available. For holidays we have parties, we’re doing stuff for Halloween and we have Earth Week. That’s our big fundraiser and like we have announcements for that,” Hopwood said.

“Everything’s always changing and there’s always fun things we can add.” 

Philanthropy Chair Zoha Quadri said, “We learn how to be sustainable with the crafts that we do. They’re focused around learning how to reuse things and recycle. It’s really helpful for being able to apply it to other areas of your life too,” Co-secretary Maryam Abdul-Kader said.

Everyday, situations can bring to mind issues that can be solved, such as saving power by turning off appliances, turning off lights, making sure to recycle materials when possible, and reusing things to repurpose them instead of needlessly throwing them away.

SEAC was restarted by Hopwood in spring of the 2021-2022 school year, after it had been temporarily put on hold during the initial COVID-19 lockdown. As the club is still relatively new, it hopes to attract more members and increase awareness of the club.

“A lot of people are worried about climate change or other environmental issues, so it’s a good first step in helping the environment,” Hopwood said. 

“[SEAC is] definitely mostly student based, but [Ms. Scott] gives us guidance and then she lets us do our own thing, so it’s collaborative,” Abdul-Kader said.

Along with environment based activities, SEAC offers a place for students to voice concerns about environmental issues in the world. 

“The most wasted energy is electricity. I’ve been going out of my way once again to turn off everything that I’m not using. Sometimes you slip, so having the club reminding me of those little things that make me feel like, okay, I am making a difference. It might be a small difference, but it’s helping,” Scott said. 

“When you hear the news about climate change and stuff, and just thinking about it and concerning over it, it can be very isolating because it feels like a lot of people don’t care, and having a community like this where we learn how to help the environment together and we talk about it–it just makes everything seem a little bit more hopeful,” Quadri said. 

“I think it’s a really good way if you’re worried about the environment or want to contribute, it’s a good way to start that process and you can meet new people that are like-minded and want to help the environment,” Hopwood said. 

Students interested in joining SEAC can stop by Room 314 to take part in the various activities and get together with friends. Meetings are held every other Friday from 2:15 to 3:15 PM.