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Being The Environmental Change

On September 20th, students and workers gathered for the second worldwide school strike for climate change this year led by Greta Thunberg. The sixteen year old environmental activist from Sweden called for drastic change, especially concerning the political treatment of the climate crisis.  The immensity of the strike is proof of the growing concern for […]

On September 20th, students and workers gathered for the second worldwide school strike for climate change this year led by Greta Thunberg. The sixteen year old environmental activist from Sweden called for drastic change, especially concerning the political treatment of the climate crisis. 

The immensity of the strike is proof of the growing concern for environmentalism among a younger generation. Reusable water bottles and recycled paper notebooks are becoming more commonplace in a generation where 32% of youth ages thirteen to eighteen have cut back on meat, fish, or poultry in some way according to the Vegetarian Resource Group.

But why do young people want to save the world? As Marvel’s Starlord says, “Cause I’m one of the idiots that lives in it!”

Mrs. Kelly Safford has inspired positive action as moderator of the Environmental club. Under her guidance, the club started the marker drive, the battery drive, and is the driving force behind EarthFest each year. 

Decorated boxes in classrooms around campus are designated for used markers. Every now and then members of Environmental Club gather the markers and ship them to Crayola in one big box where “ColorCycle … converts old markers into energy as well as wax compounds for asphalt and roofing shingles” according to the Crayola website. 

The markers from the Marker Drive so far this year.

“A lot of things as far as the environment goes are so big and so complicated” that it’s hard to feel like people are having an impact, Mrs. Safford says. But through the marker drive, teachers and students around Christian Brothers affect positive change. 

Some alumni continue their environmental activism outside of Christian Brothers. Regina Chapuis ‘18 co-created an app called EcoCritters that helps track recycling, compost, reuse, and e-waste by providing a fun creature to take care of. 

Regina and her co-creator participated in an internship with a non-profit promoting environmental awareness called Dandilyonn. Regina participated in a program to design an app that solved an environmental issue.

The author’s growing creature on environmental tracking app EcoCritters.

“We wanted to do something that impacted people’s everyday lives.” Regina says. The app was meant to change people’s habits —  turning recycling and compost into a game helps people develop an awareness about the effects their everyday actions can have.

“It will create a community of people who are more conscious,” she says.

And the app is having an impact. Regina has received feedback from some users concerning the future of the app, and she and her co-creator Jasmine Steele are continuing to create updates. They recently added a sorting mini-game where you can test and improve your recycling knowledge in a fun and festive format. 

This app is a response to an issue facing the world today; pretty soon, the environmental crisis is going to be this generation’s responsibility. 

“We have to start being motivated,” Regina says. She and many other young people are taking steps to change the world.

Teens at Christian Brothers want to make a change. The most prevalent example of environmental activism in a younger generation is seen in the popularity of reusable water bottles. Many CB students bring reusable containers for lunch, eat vegetarian for one meal a day, or attend a climate change march. But one thing is obvious — we are all doing this together.

“When I started at Christian Brothers … I constantly had to go through the recycle bin and pick out styrofoam and all this stuff,” says Mrs. Safford. But combined with the efforts of students past and present, environmental awareness is becoming more mainstream at Christian Brothers, and in some ways is kind of cool.

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