Started by Suffield High School teachers Justin Kaput and Jason Efland, the Suffield Sustainability Council (SSC) is Suffield High School’s environment and sustainability focused club. Since its founding in 2019, the SSC has taken on many projects in order to raise awareness about the dire state of the environment and take action. Bringing together passionate students from within Suffield High School, the group works tirelessly to bring about the changes they want to see in order to make the world a better place.
Typically, SSC meetings involve members working in committees to plan projects and take action in different ways. Currently, these committees include the solar, compost, river clean up, fundraising and communications committees, and each of them is doing essential work in order to inspire positive environmental change. For example, the solar committee has been looking into Suffield High School’s energy use and conducting analysis with the goal of bringing solar panels to the school, while the river clean up committee has been working to put together a town-wide river clean up event. In addition to these projects, the communications committee has been reaching out to elected officials to voice student concerns, and the fundraising committee has been planning a bike riding event in order to make money for the group. The final SSC committee, composting, has been successfully working for over a year, applying for grants, conducting analysis, and ordering materials, in order to bring composting to our school.
When club members are not working within their committees, they are working on planning a three-day climate summit, “Walk to the Hart”. This event follows a summit that was organized by the SSC and held on Zoom last year, “Zoom to the Hart”, which brought together groups of students from as far as Hong Kong to listen to important speakers, interact with other students and create climate action plans that serve as actionable blueprints for community/school-level change. This year, the event will involve a sustainability themed version of one of Suffield’s favorite traditions, Suffield on the Green, that is open to the public on April 21. The second day of the event will bring together students from schools across the state to create climate action plans. The three-day event will conclude with the aforementioned river clean-up, which is also open to the public. Currently, SSC members are hard at work putting together all aspects of this event.
As a member of the Suffield Sustainability Council’s student leadership team, I have grown my passion for the environment while being a part of many of the club’s important projects. The next project I am excited to start working on is a monthly environment focused column in The Suffield Observer, of which this article is the first. I look forward to continuing to write for the Observer.