Palmer student uses school project to spread environmental awareness

It only took an hour out of his day, and $17
One Colony High School student turned a school project into an opportunity to help clean up the community and educate others about it at the same time.
Published: May. 5, 2022 at 5:19 PM AKDT
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PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - There have been a number of stories recently about the many volunteers across the state working tirelessly to clean up the spring trash. One Colony High School student also decided to get involved, while earning a grade.

The idea came about when Ethan Wolf was assigned a project in his environmental science class: go out into the community and advocate for the environment. Originally, Wolf was going to pick up trash along the side of the highway, until he spotted a pile of old carpet and insulation dumped in a residential neighborhood.

“I think somebody did some renovation or some sort of spring cleaning and decided to save themselves a trip to the dump,” Wolf said.

The high school junior posted on a community social media page to spread awareness to people dumping trash that it’s not that difficult — or expensive — to do so properly. Wolf said it only took about an hour out of his today to load the carpet into his vehicle and take it to the dump.

“The total weight was 280 pounds and it cost me $17 to dump it,” Wolf said.

The social media post garnered a lot of positive feedback, having over 700 interactions from the community. It was never Wolf’s intention to make the post for attention — he said he genuinely wanted to educate people about how easy proper disposal is. According to the Palmer Police Department, fines for littering can range anywhere between $50 and $1,000.

The class project has inspired Wolf to continue volunteering to help clean up the community after the spring breakup, and he hopes to get a group of friends on board as well.

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