Spotlight of the Week: Matthew Jordan

President of the Environmental Action Club


Tara Shecter

This week, Type One sat down with the president of the Environmental Action Club (EAC), senior Matthew Jordan. He told us all about the club provided information about the EAC’s upcoming used electronics drive running during homecoming week.

T1: What is the Environmental Action Club?

Matthew: The environmental action club is a school group that promotes environmental awareness and strives to protect our natural ecosystem, such as the Everglades. Club members also aim to make Pine Crest a cleaner and more eco-friendly environment.  It is the club’s goal to make students enthusiastic about the environment in order to create a group of future environmentalists.


T1: How did you come up with the idea to organize a used electronics drive for EAC?

Matthew: Mrs. Vatland, an environmental science teacher here at Pine Crest and the club sponsor of EAC, works with the club’s executive board and me to organize club events.  We have wanted to create a school-wide event for a while, and we thought the used electronics drive would be a great homecoming event.  We are hoping to get all of Pine Crest involved in these kinds of proactive events, and make the school greener.


T1: When is the drive?

Matthew: Collection began Wednesday, October 4th and will end at 3:38 p.m on Thursday, October 12th.


T1: How will the drive work?

Matthew: We will set up boxes in the atrium of the high school and there will be individual boxes for each grade. Whichever grade has the most valuable electronics in their respective box at the end of the drive will win the most spirit points. Each day, we will tally up the points and add them up at the end of the drive to see who which grade has the most points. This new homecoming event is similar to past years’ Change Wars, but students will bring in used electronics instead of coins. To make the competition even more competitive, students may put dead batteries in another grade’s bin to subtract two spirit points.


T1: What type of used electronics can students bring in?

Matthew: Anything that has plugged in or been turned on before and has been used. We will not be able to donate any electronics that are fresh.


T1: Where do the items go to?

Matthew: The items will go to a non-profit organization that sets up electronic drives across South Florida. The organization logs the electronics, breaks down each donation into its separate parts, and then separates plastics, metals, and toxic waste. They will dispose of the toxic waste and send the plastic to companies, such as Microsoft, so the companies can reuse the materials. In most cases, electronics will go to a landfill where chemicals will go into the ground, or they will be shipped off to companies that will not dispose of them properly. If we continue to do this, we risk further hurting the environment and its people.


T1: Why should we recycle electronics?

Matthew: Recycling electronics recovers valuable materials that can be used to make new products.  This saves energy, reduces pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and saves resources by diminishing resource extraction. Additionally, e-waste is dangerous to dump into solid waste landfills because of the heavy metals contained in them; the cumulative effect is dangerous, because it creates a toxic-soup that can penetrate through the lining that protects landfills. As a result, we could be infecting our water supplies and other natural resources.

T1: What made you want to become the president of EAC?

Matthew: I never had a dog when I was younger, so I needed an outlet to have fun. When I went into 9th grade, I volunteered at a nature center, where I did animal care, boardwalk tours, education tours, and occasionally animal surgeries. I felt like EAC needed more of a presence in the Pine Crest community since it was previously very inactive, so I advocated more for the club. I made it my mission to revitalize the club so that other students could appreciate the beauty of nature as much as I do and work together to make a bigger difference.


T1: What is your favorite aspect of the EAC?  

Matthew: My favorite aspect by far is interacting with different environmentalists and working with students to pursue their interests in protecting the environment.


T1: What motivates you to take action in the environment?  

Matthew: At first, I wanted to get involved in something that I thought was cool. Now, the more I learn about the environment, the more I feel a desire and need to take action to curb the massive forces that are destroying nature as we know it.


T1: What other things do you want students to know about EAC and its other activities?  

Matthew: EAC is a very active club; we try to cover a wide variety of topics and events.  A main goal of environmental action club is education.  This year we are focusing on wetlands, since the Everglades, a completely unique ecosystem, is right in our backyard.  To learn, we will have speakers coming in to teach us about the Everglades, workshops to discuss different ideas, and we even plan to take a trip to the Everglades this year.  Other events include taking trips to Green Cay Nature Center in Boynton Beach, holding ICI discussions about important environmental issues, and hosting co-events with the 2nd grade.


Matthew Jordan demonstrates his dedication to the Environmental Action Club. Participating in the club’s used electronics drive provides students a way to protect the environment, make a direct impact in the world, and become one step closer to winning the coveted homecoming spirit stick.