Working Toward a Greener Future

Green Week at Masters is an opportunity to raise awareness about climate change and take action to protect the planet. Upper school members of the EFFECT club organized a schedule of events for the week of April 18 that culminated in a special Earth Day tree planting in honor of retired mailroom manager Frank DiCicco.

EFFECT co-chair Tyler Hack ’23 said commemorating the week “is a critical way to bring sustainable activities to the Masters campus for all to take part in.”

An on-campus thrift shop, a farmers market and tree plantings organized by EFFECT enabled the community to engage together in sustainable activities. EFFECT faculty advisor Courtney White was proud of the students’ efforts to “get people accustomed to the idea of reusing and recycling and sharing and exchanging clothes and making it accessible.”

EFFECT co-chair Katie Williams ’22 spearheaded the thrift shop with proceeds going to Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law organization.

“This organization believes that the most powerful tool for change is the law and is responsible for many wins in legal battles against harmful environmental activities and in defense of climate organizations like the Sierra Club,” explained Hack.

“COVID hampered what we were able to achieve the last two years, but I think this year’s efforts went brilliantly,” said EFFECT member Esme Talenfeld ’23. “The thrift store has been open every day and we were able to reduce a lot of clothing waste and promote sustainable consumption.”

This year’s farmers market took place on the quad and offered more market goods than produce with baked goods, hand-crocheted toys, miniature clay animals, tote bags, jewelry and soap available for purchase. A Pots for Planters collaboration between EFFECT, MISH (Masters Interested in Sharing and Helping) and the School’s Art Studio, was also a big success. The sale of handmade plant-filled pots created by school community members raised funds for Rural Migrant Ministry, a nonprofit that works with rural leaders from faith, labor and education communities to stand with farm and rural workers in New York.

The leaders of the middle school EFFECT team contributed to Green Week during a school meeting on April 18. Maddie Barnes ’26, Neena Atkins ’26, and Jackson Schuchard ’26 with help from Allat Yussupova ’26 and faculty advisor Bruce Robbins presented a history of Earth Day and how people can get involved with organizations to help the planet.

With talk of more meatless dining hall options and composting efforts on the horizon, EFFECT member Natalia Shane ’22 was pleased with the school community’s response to Green Week. “I think it's important to remember that the little things we can do are the important things that we can do - the thrift shop, the tree plantings. These things, although small differences, do make a real difference on campus and that's the kind of thing that counts.”