The issue of climate change has become a hot topic recently, especially among young people, with many students finding ways to advocate for environmental activism. Senior Ella Parker is one student who has recently gotten involved in an organization fighting for environmental justice.
Parker is a member of the Ardea Youth Climate Coalition, a group of high school students from Kalamazoo county who work to bring awareness and activism on climate change to the community.
The Coalition, which is made up of students who have the same passion for environmentalism as Parker, has achieved quite a bit this year. They attended a youth leader training over the summer in partnership with Schools for Climate Action.
During this training, Parker and the other members of the Ardea Youth Climate Coalition had the opportunity to learn from experts in the fields of both climate and political science.
This program allowed Parker and her peers to draft a resolution that calls for congressional action on the issue of climate change, and Parker was later given the opportunity to help present this resolution to other youth organizations.
She says the Climate Coalition has more plans in the future to look forward to, including a lobby meeting with Representative Upton.
Parker is open and passionate about the work that she and her peers have accomplished through the actions of their group, and she hopes that it will give her more opportunities to encourage others to get involved.
“I personally consider myself a climate activist after being involved in this coalition,” Parker said. “And I actively attempt to be as green as I can personally and educate others on how to do so.”
The Ardea Youth Climate Coalition and their actions are not the extent of Parker’s environmental activism though. Parker has been a vegetarian for three years now, with the hopes of reducing the impact of the meat industry on climate change. Additionally, Parker has picked up the habit of shopping for new clothes and less important items and prefers to buy and sell clothing second hand.
Parker also knows that despite all her work as a climate activist, she still doesn’t know everything, which is why she makes it a habit to actively seek out new education opportunities, in whatever format she can find.
Parker thinks that everyone, especially young people should at least try to become more involved when it comes to environmental action. She says one of the best ways for students to do this is to join groups or clubs, as being with other people who have the same passions and interests as you is a great way to push yourself to be more environmentally conscious.
Of course Parker knows that environmentalism and activism look different for everyone, and not everyone is prepared to drop everything and switch to a vegan and zero waste lifestyle. However, she still encourages people to do as much as they can.
“Being an activist can look like many different things,” Parker said. “The world needs imperfect environmentalists.”
PC: Ella Parker