A Party for the Planet: Earth Day 2023
Sustainability Club Students Celebrate Earth Day with a Trashion Show at Palisades Tahoe
"For Earth Day, we need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably). Businesses, governments, and citizens — everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A partnership for the planet." - EarthDay.Org
ACTION FOSTERS HOPE
Get Inspired. Take Action. Be a Part of the Green Revolution. This is the call to action from EarthDay.Org. SWEP Sustainability Club students don't only echo this sentiment — it is a motto they live by and a message they share to inspire their peers, teachers, school staff and family members to join their positive action for the benefit of our community and the planet.
This year, high school Envirolution Club students from the North Shore and Truckee had the opportunity to share their powerful environmentally centered messaging at SWEP's Earth Day Trashion Show at Palisades Tahoe once again.
Donning an almost entirely new collection of up-cycled outfits that they had meticulously created for this annual event, they were joined by elementary and middle school Sustainability Club students in their own handmade ensembles constructed from recycled materials, creating a show-stopping entourage that embodied an unequivocal sense of camaraderie and enthusiasm for environmental stewardship and hope for a more sustainable future.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
There was a lot of anticipation leading up to the Earth Day Trashion Show, as Envirolution Club students spent time before and after class - including weekends - designing their outfits, choosing music, and rehearsing dances & acts to accompany messages of environmental advocacy. Their commitment was inspiring to say the least!
In order to be able to work their creative magic, the Truckee Roundhouse offered their incredible maker-space to our high school students, allowing them to spread out and have access to instructional support and state of the art tools during the design process. We also drew on community experts and businesses for inspiration, materials, storage and support along the way, including Tiffany Clary Mending and Alterations, Judi Morales of the Roundhouse, Good Anya Plant Shop, the DesignBar, and Gratitudes Gifts and Home Decor. We thank them for their time, resources and expertise in helping us bring our ideas to fruition — it truly took a village to make it happen!
Our younger Green Team students were equally as excited to let their creativity shine and design costumes for the show. We were thrilled to see materials like newspaper, cardboard, chip bags, candy wrappers, plastic bags and bottle caps (just to name a few) meticulously repurposed into dazzling outfits, ready to captivate an audience of 600+ students and members of the community and the Truckee town council.
WE ARE ENVIROLUTION: HEAR US ROAR!
Sustainability Club students work diligently to inspire community action and participation in stewardship efforts. This year's Trashion Show highlighted important climate centered messaging around regional waste reduction and decarbonization initiatives in which SWEP has partnered with local organizations. For example, some time ago, Envirolution students met with the town council and advocated for banning styrofoam & single use plastics. Council members listened and have now enacted a food ware reduction ordinance, banning the sale of styrofoam products in the Town of Truckee — an accomplishment our students are most proud of! This is also an imperative reminder that while students may be too young to vote, their voices are heard and can inform policy nonetheless.
Inspired by the single use plastics ordinance, the Town of Truckee is now considering banning single use water bottles, a major contributor to the plastic pollution of Lake Tahoe, and the prospect of which our students are supremely excited about:
SWEP's organic waste diversion and carbon reduction program is another fabulous example of students working with the TTUSD school district to encourage progress. All TTUSD students are being led by Green Team students and SWEP in food waste separation at the school cafeterias, diverting organic waste from landfills and reducing carbon emissions in the process:
The SWEP Trashion Show included many other climate-centered topics, including wildfire prevention, combating plastic pollution of Lake Tahoe, recycling & reusing to reduce waste, rethinking our consumption & purchasing practices, and energy & water conservation. While these topics can often invoke a sense of doom and gloom, it is important to SWEP and our students to approach these delicate subjects with a positive attitude. Our goal is to instill a sense of hope through empowerment and tangible actions that we all can do every day to benefit ourselves, our community and the environment. Attendees were wowed by students' powerful uplifting messaging, fun costumes and dynamic performances. The energy in the Palisades plaza was palpable as bouts of applause and cheers accompanied the different acts — students' fervor had spilled over to their audience. Envirolution and Green Team students alike culminated the show, confident that they had inspired onlookers to do one thing each day for the planet.
Thanks to The Patchwork Collective, Truckee Tahoe Airport District, Town of Truckee, Truckee Donner Public Utility District, Placer County, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, Northstar California Resort in partnership with Vail Resort's EpicPromise, Clif Bar Family Foundation, and Palisades Tahoe for supporting SWEP Sustainability Club programming and our Trashion Shows.
SWEP extends a special thanks to Lexii for providing make-up services to our students at the Earth Day Festival Trashion Show.