September 2020 Volume 7, Issue 1
On September 19th, Phi Theta Kappa is hosting a volunteer opportunity to help clean up the Rock River. The volunteers will pick up in a 1-mile stretch along the river. This event is the first of many in their environmental services project through PTK’s Honors in Action program.
The theme for this year's Honors in Action program is Natural and Constructed Environments and they aim to answer the questions “To what extent are natural and constructed environments fluctuating, and how can we intentionally interact with them to affect our legacy?” This theme, along with Covid-19 restrictions, are what lead to the idea for this event.
Audrey Smith, a PTK advisor, along with other PTK advisors, proposed the question “How can we make a difference and educate people while still being safe?” They decided the river clean-up would be a logical solution.
PTK hopes to have at least 25 students and 10 community members to help out.
Each group will be fewer than 10 people and they will practice safe social distancing. Each group will be responsible for cleaning up a specific type of waste. Group A, for example, will pick up plastic bottles, while group B will pick up glass. At the end of the event, the Honors in Action students will count how much garbage was picked up from each category and will record this information for a research project.
In the time that PTK has been at Sauk, they have never been able to conduct a research project and Ms. Smith is “really excited” about their mission. PTK hopes to do another river clean-up in April to compare with the September data in order to help educate the community on the effects of single-use plastic and the importance of recycling.
Ms. Smith said, “our goal is to make people more aware of how much plastic they use and dispose of in their everyday life.” She further stated, “It’s a global problem but if we can inform others, and each person can make a change in their own lives, and maybe their family’s lives, we can slowly make a dent in the single-use plastic.”
Those who would like to volunteer are encouraged to contact Audrey Smith, at audrey.e.smith@ svcc.edu, with their name and phone number.
Volunteers are required to wear masks, preferably reusable ones to reduce waste. Long pants, sturdy shoes, and bug spray are recommended. Gloves, garbage bags, and trash pickers will be provided Volunteers will meet a Dixon Highschool’s main parking lot at 8 am and will work until 2 pm.