The Temple City High School Environmental Club is known to be active around campus with their frequent clean-up events and constant effort to spread awareness. The members are passionate about helping the planet and making the world a cleaner place. Martin Mao, the current president of the club, reflects on the past year and shares his vision for the future through this short interview with the Voice.
What is the purpose of Environmental Club?
The purpose of the Environmental Club is to raise awareness and inspire environmental activism. We’re trying to be a force that compels others to be more considerate towards Mother Earth. Other schools already have mandates from teachers to be more environmental by recycling and not littering. Our school doesn’t, so we try to fill that role.
How does your club impact the school?
We make posters and chalk designs to spread awareness. Some of us even pick up trash we find on the floor. We do after school pickups and E-waste which helps deal with the trash.
What sort of events do you guys do?
We talk and do cleanups for fun. We go to the beach, the forest, the park, and hike at Eaton Canyon. We don our blue vests and clean up public places that do not regularly receive frequent care. We watch movies and have guest speakers. All the speakers so far are teachers, substitute teachers, and me. We try to get members to think about issues and respond. Even if they don’t respond, they leave the meeting more educated.
What separates Environmental Club from the other organizations on campus?
We are actually an honest club and we’re very environmental. We give out honest CSL. Members get the amount they actually earned. We don’t do that much fundraising and rely more on sponsors. We’re also not as strict as some clubs and we can party when the time calls.
What have you learned this year as president?
As president, I learned that everyone has valid opinions. I learned it the hard way that if you only focus on yourself, you will mess up-big time. Members are important and you have to let them know who you are and establish an identity with them.
Why should students join the club?
Students should join if they feel environmentalism is their passion. I care less about numbers and we are an open club. Anyone who is interested or feels a passion for what we do can join.
What changes do you hope will happen next year?
I want the cabinet to be more organized and the new president should be more on schedule. I would like more city-based events that will benefit Temple City. We use the library a lot for thought talks, but it would be nice to use the gazebo or even use the whole park for a change!
Do you have any upcoming events?
Our year is pretty much done. We do not have any more upcoming events. We still have small meetings to figure out cabinet and maybe a banquet in June. Our last event was a beach cleanup on Memorial Day.
The Environmental Club brings the world a step closer to ending threatening issues that concern our environment today. It is proof that small efforts makes a difference.
This article was written by Christine Keung. It was published in the Temple City Voice on June 4, 2008.