Sunset High School senior Eidi Lule grew tired of watching her peers toss their bottles and trash on the floor. “Kids at the school are so wasteful,” Lule says. “One day I started walking around and picking everything up, and people were staring at me.” It frustrated Lule that her actions were viewed as odd. Near the end of her junior year, the idea came to her to start a recycling club to educate her fellow students about the environment. Lule and 15 or so other students started meeting last summer, and in less than a year, they have positioned recycling boxes in all of the classrooms, added an energy-saving tip of the week to the Sunset announcements —“like if you leave stuff plugged in at night, it’s still wasting energy, or that it’s better to put gas in your car at nighttime” — and gathered more than 300 signatures petitioning the Dallas ISD to supply the school with bicycle racks. “Then there would be less pollution because of fewer cars out there, and fewer accidents,” Lule says. The Sunset senior says she has “always been into the green idea,” starting as a young child when she wanted to be a zoologist. “As I got bigger, I thought, animals are cool and all, but what are animals if their environment is nothing?” She plans to attend the University of Texas-Austin and major in political science, studying for a career as an environmental lobbyist. Lule will get her first taste of politics this summer when she spends a week in U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions’s Washington, D.C., office as part of the Texas Leadership Forum. She already spends time lobbying for the environment at Lida Hooe Elementary down the road from Sunset, where Lule and other club members visit to talk to the students about recycling. “It all starts when you’re young and sticks from there,” she explains. The club members also pick up the classroom recycling boxes on a weekly basis (the boxes are used cardboard food containers from Lule’s workplace, Pappasito’s on Loop 12 — “I recycle twice to get those here,” she says), and deliver their contents to the blue bins at the Oak Cliff YMCA. The one plan she hasn’t been able to implement is swapping all of the batteries in the school’s calculators for rechargeable batteries. “That’s probably the hardest because it’s pretty expensive,” Lule says. “I’ll leave that for my successor.”
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