Record-high temperatures. Wildfires in California and Australia. Rising sea levels which, according to Seal Beach’s Sea Level Vulnerability Report, could threaten Seal Beach. At Los Alamitos High School, students’ growing fears about the future of the planet led them to found Environmental Activism Club (@enviro_activism on Instagram). Niomi Gonzalez, one of the co-Presidents, explains that they started the club “in hopes of not just raising awareness but to show our community that everyone, including high school students, can take part in changing the world.”
Now over 30 members strong, the Club has become a way for students to get involved with the fight to protect the environment. Their approach to climate activism tackles both small-scale actions and the need for large-scale legislative change. In meetings, they discuss changes they can make in their communities, like shorter showers, reusable bags, turning off unused lights, and carpooling.
Supporting policy change is the other branch of their activities. After holding a protest in December to call for action from California and international elected officials, the Club held a fundraiser, selling succulents to classmates and teachers. They raised over $200 for the Environmental Defense Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to introducing nonpartisan environmental protection laws. The Defense Fund’s mission goes hand in hand with LAHS’s Club’s approach. The students believe that passing laws to regulate emissions from corporations is vital to slowing climate change; a 2017 study by the Carbon Disclosure Project concluded that just 100 companies produce 71% of all greenhouse gas emissions. As Co-President Corinn Tiffany emphasizes, “Individual actions will not be enough to stop climate change, nor should everyday people shoulder all the blame for the climate crisis.”
Later this semester, EAC plans to hold more fundraisers, as well as run a recycled crafts station at the Rossmoor Arbor Day on March 14.