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A Greener Tomorrow: How Students At YLHS Can Save Our Environment with Mrs. Pilkenton

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Myli
Here’s my favorite photo I have taken of the environment that we must conserve!

Last March, I decided to take AP Environmental Science since my older friends who took the class always seemed to have fun building eco-columns and raising fish! It seemed to be an enjoyable class, and although science has never been my favorite subject, I figured that my interest in helping our environment would help me perform my best in the class. Now that I am two months into the course, I can confidently say that I made the right choice in taking the class and have learned so much more than expected.

Mrs. Pilkenton is the YLHS AP Environmental Science teacher, and she is highly passionate about saving the environment and educating students on the impacts humans leave behind on the planet. Even though some of the topics discussed in APES are disheartening, Mrs. Pilkenton always makes sure to puts a positive spin on these things by showing us students how to make a positive impact in the world.  Each Friday, one student presents a “Feel Good Friday,” where that student gives an eco-friendly business that is doing good for the Earth. 

Mrs. Pilkenton’s class inspired me to learn more about how I, a 16-year-old girl, can help the environment myself in small, actionable ways. I was lucky enough to interview Mrs. Pilkenton. about her thoughts on the environment, and I found her responses to be extremely interesting.

What do you think is a simple way for students at YLHS to help the environment?

“I think it’s important for us to remember that small changes lead to big results!  Reducing our single-use plastics is easy if we consciously think about how we can reduce it daily.  For example, we can stop using ziplock sandwich baggies for our lunches and use tupperware and reusable containers instead.  Using a reusable water bottle daily and using our water bottle fillers on campus is easy and reduces unnecessary plastic waste that never decomposes and will exist forever!  Recycling is another easy way to help the environment.  One of the biggest shocks I had when I first started teaching APES was if we bag our recyclables in a trash bag and put them in our green, recyclable trash can, nothing will be recycled.  They have to be placed in the trash can loose/unbagged in order to make it to the recycling center!  So, I’d say that is the absolute easiest change!  Make sure to place your recyclables into your green trash can loose!”

Together we are stronger and can make the change our future needs.

— Mrs. Pilkenton

How has teaching a class that educates students on the impacts humans have on the planet changed your perspective? Has it made you feel more optimistic or pessimistic about our ability to save the environment?

“For sure it has made me optimistic for our future!  APES students really do care about making changes to better the environment and care about future generations and what the world will look like and what natural resources will be available for them.  My students and their desire to learn more about the environment is what makes me excited to do my job everyday!  Together we are stronger and can make the change our future needs.”

What are your favorite eco-friendly businesses?

“Patagonia, Seventh Generation, Tesla, and my favorite nonprofit helping the environment is The Ocean CleanUp”

If you are considering taking AP Environmental Science, I highly recommend the course since I have already learned so much in the short span of 2 months. I love the message that Mrs. Pilkenton teaches her students, that we all can make a change.

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About the Contributor
Mylie Brown, Photojournalist
Mylie Brown is a junior here at YLHS who is eager to begin her second year as a photojournalist for The Wrangler. She loves keeping herself involved as she is a part of many different activities on campus. Mylie is currently the Junior Class President, and her favorite subjects are English and History. In her free time, you can find her reading, spending time with her friends and family, or listening to music. She is so excited for her final two years at YLHS and hopes to make this the most memorable year yet!

Comments (3)

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  • C

    Chloe ChangNov 30, 2023 at 7:45 AM

    Yes Mylie ! I love this article and I think your APES teacher and class sounds amazing.

    Reply
  • L

    Leilah HuttnerNov 30, 2023 at 7:42 AM

    I love AP Environmental Science! Mrs. P always brings a smile to her student’s faces even while tackling topics that are very serious and essential to society.

    Reply
  • M

    Megan HuynhNov 16, 2023 at 7:41 AM

    I didn’t realize that our school had a class like this, how interesting!

    Reply