Nobles is in full bloom for the celebration of Earth Day today, and members of the Environmental Action Coalition (EAC) are raising awareness about sustainability issues facing our fragile planet.

On April 7, club leader Annie Ellison ’19 along with Grace Taylor, Hannah Epstein, Sarah Wuesthoff, Jess DiPietrantonio and Olivia Cheung joined other environmental action groups at the third annual Independent School Sustainability Coalition Conference (ISSC) at St. Mark’s School.

Ellison said, “We participated in smaller workshops centered around general guidelines that environmental clubs can set at their individual schools and also understanding and encouraging divestment of school endowments from fossil fuels. There were also smaller presentations from each school present about initiatives that people have been working on, and we gave a presentation on Nobles’ food waste project. Schools like Milton, Andover, and other members of the ISSC had really interesting presentations and gave us a lot to think about for future projects.”

Cheung explained that attendees broke up into three different groups: New Initiatives Brainstore, Divestment Workshop, and Creating a Ground Rules List. Cheung, who attended the New Initiatives group, enjoyed exchanging ideas with peers at St. Mark’s and Exeter. Because both are boarding, they had different challenges and opportunities. Participants brainstormed about how to get more schools involved—potentially a competition to reduce food waste.

Cheung, who like Ellison, enjoys hiking and values time spent in nature, said, “It’s so important to learn about and understand why climate change is happening.” She said that conference keynote speaker Natahlia JMag, a sustainable fashion designer who appeared on Project Runway, talked about the fashion industry’s huge impact on the environment and use of fossil fuels with fast fashion like H&M and Forever 21. “Not only does that approach create environmental problems, but also working rights and human rights issues,” Cheung said.

Ellison said, “Looking forward to this Earth Day and the 50th year of Earth Day, we’re using our Instagram (@nobles_eac) to keep people thinking about EAC and to help promote sustainability. We hope that EAC can continue the great trends that we’ve started this year in the future, and we feel really good about what we’ve accomplished this year.”

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