Earth Day reviewed in planning new projects
Tuesday, September 22, marks five months since Earth Day at Maine South on April 22. Southwords interviewed the leaders of last year's anti-pollution campaign as well as other students to find out what the long-range effect of Earth Day had been.
Mr. Rakowsky, biology teacher, pointed out that Earth Day was effective in "making people aware of pollution," but did not change their personal habits. He noted that the school grounds, forest preserves, and the Des Plaines River, sites of cleanup campaigns, are as littered now as they were before the campaign.
Scott '72, one of the students leaders of Earth Day, felt that it had a limited scope. "Earth Day was a success as far as it went," he said. "This year we should go farther and give more detailed information. Scott did not feel that considering the effect of Earth Day on littering was a valid basis for judging its effect. "The ultimate aim of an anti-pollution campaign is to create an atmosphere where people feel guilty about littering. Earth Day tried to explain how the environment is misused."
Mr. Clark, biology teacher, emphasized this year's campaign will have to include not only talk, as did last year's Earth Day, but also action.
Several other students, not directly involved with Earth Day, had different viewpoints. Said one, "The kids involved had high hopes but they didn't carry out their plans." Another said, "It didn't influence enough people long enough."
Mr. Clark, Mr. Rakowsky, and Scott agreed that time, both for planning and presentation, was one of the major problems with Earth Day in the '69-'70 school year. "Because of lack of planning time," said Mr. Rakowsky, "none of the plans could be elaborate. Earth Day could only highlight the pollution problem. With a couple of days, we might be able to be more specific and cover particular types of pollution." .... "This year's campaign must be more of an all-year campaign." ...[S]ome steps are already being taken toward this year's pollution campaign....
[T]hese will include collecting disposable cans and bottles, putting up displays in school on the environment, and encouraging students to write to their congressmen....
How effective will campaigns such as Maine South's be...? ...One junior summed up...by saying, "The only answer is that these campaigns have to be successful or we all die."