Raising awareness one club at a time

Alannah Hipps

More stories from Alannah Hipps


Higher temperatures. Rising ocean levels. Melting glaciers. Climate change and global warming are major problems affecting the inhabitants of the world. Because of this, many Etowah students are working to do their part by starting the Etowah Environmental Initiative (EEI).  

“Through careful study, they [scientists] know that the climate is warming about 10 times faster than the average previous warming times. The Earth’s average temperature has increased about 1.5°F in the past hundred years. They [scientists] expect the climate will warm another .5°F to 8.6°F by the year 2100,” National Geographic said in an article. 

The Etowah Environmental Initiative, started by Robert Rafanelli, senior, is a new club with the goal of helping the environment one step at a time. Their mission is to promote the use of sustainable energy throughout Etowah and the community. 

“EEI is determined to make it so that the energy we consume does not produce negative externalities. We will make sure that Etowah will play its part in the fight against global warming,” Rafanelli said.  

The EEI is an opportunity for students to do their part to improve the state of the planet. Club members do monthly campus cleanups, and they plan to implement solar panels and electric car charging stations. 

“I would encourage students to join our initiative because I believe our efforts are going to leave a serious impact on our area. The opportunity has presented itself for them to leave their footprint in our community, and I encourage them to take that step,” Rafanelli said. 

Etowah students and teachers are excited for EEI and the changes they will make. They think that it is a big step in the right direction for ending climate change.  

“I think it [EEI] is very important because the environment is on everyone’s mind as climate change is happening and as we are seeing larger hurricanes and things. It is a big thing to have the high schoolers starting to think about it and how they can help,” Lara McDonald, science teacher, said. 

If one has a passion for the environment and a drive to help the community, contact Robert Rafanelli or Chloe Gambrell (club sponsor) and look at their Instagram for more information. The club meets every Wednesday afternoon in room 1212.