Heather Park (‘21) and Megan Bickley (‘21) are co-founders of social media initiative, “Conscious Cycle”, which endeavors to reinforce environmental awareness and highlight the voices belonging to the TAS community.
Although TAS is no stranger to environmental action, this is the first time that an entirely online-based initiative has been put into motion. The Instagram account(@consciouscycleorg) has posts that feature ways to purchase items from the organization’s online thrift shop, public programs for environmental action and simple recipes for its followers to make at home.
Since its creation, the account has gained more than 300 followers, which consists of both TAS students and environmental accounts from across the globe.
With a variety of different content, the website is easy to navigate, and includes a weekly report on co-founder Megan’s journey to help the environment by introducing more vegetarian meals to her diet. Commonly featured are tips to slowly integrate sustainable living through small but impactful actions, such as to simply reuse what you already have.
“If you already have a toothbrush that is working for you and does not need to be replaced, don’t buy a bamboo toothbrush,” Heather said. “You’re just creating more waste for that environment. The ultimate goal is to not create any waste at all.”
Though there are a number of clubs that have similar missions, what Heather and Megan find most challenging is that many students bypass environmental consciousness in favor of convenience.
Similarly, Ms. Thompson, the DIY Club sponsor and an English teacher at TAS, also believes in stressing the importance of student collaboration that could potentially spur the student body into action. In her own life, she incorporates environmental consciousness by upcycling and thrifting clothes and buying from local grocers.
“I think collaboration is better than having so many clubs doing different things,” Ms. Thompson said. “So for instance, I had been pushing the DIY Club to see if they could collaborate with the marine conservation club and even the fashion club…to use recycled fabric because a lot of more avant garde environmentally friendly designers do so nowadays.”
Whether it is cultivating a relationship between clubs, or even taking the initiative to begin their own progress toward being more environmentally friendly, students have plenty of time to watch the website and Instagram page unfold. Article drafts have been scheduled until October, having already featured two student-written articles, one from TAS, and another from New York.
One of the program’s core ideas is that the journey toward environmental awareness can simultaneously be a time for personal growth.
“We both make mistakes, and we’re not perfect with this thing,” Megan said. “But just trying is much more beneficial than not allowing yourself to make a mistake and then giving up when you do.”