New Club Has Students Unplugging Phones and Plugging into Nature

Pera Onal, Editor-in-Chief

If you’re looking for a way to cut down on screen time and spend more time outdoors, all while gaining volunteer hours, EHS Unplugged is the club for you.

The EHS Unplugged club is newly formed and gives students an opportunity to step away from their electronics by helping out within their school/community, mainly through garden work. According to an informational PowerPoint created by the club officers, 15 to 20 total volunteer hours are expected of each member.

“Unplugged is dedicated to enlarging the overall greenery of the community and creating awareness of ongoing environmental issues… all while students unplug and recharge,” sophomore Amulya Girada, club president, said. “The goal of this club is to leave the community looking and doing better than before.”

Girada said, as of right now, the club’s main project is something she called the “Pollinator Pathway,” which will be installed in the front of the school building. This process includes cutting down the dying trees and adding in raised beds to “enhance the beauty of school grounds.” It will also help attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

According to the previously mentioned PowerPoint, some of the club’s short-term goals are to organize schoolwide fundraisers and create more attraction to the club itself.

Girada, along with the other club officers, started organizing the club during the 2021-22 school year. After an initial meet-and-greet type meeting around the end of April, they started working on the flower beds around school grounds.

“It took a few months [to start the club] just because we wanted to make sure that we had our goals set up, and we talked to Dr. Stuart to get approval,” club sponsor and science teacher Amy Burian said. “You know, you kind of want to have all your ducks in a row before you have that first meeting.”

Girada, being the one who proposed the idea to Ms. Burian and the other students, said she originally came up with the idea for the club after her mom convinced her to help with yard work instead of scrolling through Tik Tok.

“At first, I was resistant, but after a couple of hours into the project, I realized the phone detox was helping and I really enjoyed the activities,” Girada said. “I thought it would be nice to share this experience with other students, while giving back to the community.”

She said the reason it’s important to have clubs like this is, because teens need to be taking breaks after being “constantly wrapped up in their phones,” and the Unplugged club, specifically, is a way to productively do that.

Similarly, Ms. Burian said that “being so technology dependent” in every aspect of life means we need to “disconnect” every once in a while.

“It’s important to kind of remember that we have to take a break,” she said. “To get outside and kind of, a little cliché but, enjoy nature.”