The girl walked onto the beach, trash bags clenched in her fists, and picked up animal-threatening waste. Uncovering what once was pure sand, she realized her small actions could make a significant difference.
“When I went to my first beach clean up, I felt like I was making a difference because I saw how much trash was on the beach and I collected over 100 cigarettes,” senior president Storm Smith said. “I really care about animals and the fact that they eat those and die because people throw them on the ground made me feel like I actually did something.”
Earth and surf is a club on campus that gives back to the community and the environment. The club meets Wednesdays weekly to discuss environmental issues and find new projects.
“We have an adopt a mile of beach in New Smyrna, so we regularly have beach clean ups to go to and clean up the adopt a mile,” Earth and Surf sponsor Jennifer Cherry said. “We have started a marker recycling program on campus so we are collecting markers and recycling them though crayola.”
Students who participate in Earth and Surf gain several benefits including community service hours and leadership roles, but to sophomore Breana Boies, those are not the only advantages.
“I think the benefits that I receive out of it is simply just taking little steps to clean the earth,” Boies said. “I think we all have a part in doing something to save our planet, so earth and surf definitely plays a part in that and as a team we can really make a big impact.”
Earth and surf has an active voice on campus, as they stress the importance of recycling to those outside the club.
“Encouraging people to join earth and surf not only helps the club by bringing more members in, but it also helps the environment because that’s just more people in our little army to help the environment,” vice president Morgan Costner said.
Members of earth and surf take their knowledge of environmental science and use it outside the classroom to help educate others.
“It’s really nice to see the students so passionate about something that I am passionate about as well,” Cherry said. “ It makes me excited that there are students that are ready to make a difference and go out there and speak for the trees.”