Climate Conversations (High School Edition)

Editors discuss how schools should take climate action

Marie Brockhoff, Copy Co-Editor

When I showed up to Morning Meeting late last month, I was surprised and impressed by the great sea of students wearing green in support of climate action. This show of concern for the environment has made me wonder: how can we apply that energy to change our world for the better? 

According to a Brookings article on the intersections of education and the environment, roughly 80% of parents in the US support climate education in schools, including two out of three Republicans and nine out of ten Democrats. Additionally, more youth are involved in the climate fight than ever. It’s not surprising Seabury includes some climate education in its curriculum, particularly in the Earth Science and Wilderness Studies classes. 

While education is crucial, it is important for initiatives to be student driven. Schools should provide students with the tools and support they need without dictating what their actions should be. Although it may not be universal, the support for climate action at Seabury is amazing, and I’m glad students are beginning to move beyond symbolic activities and proposing concrete changes. That is one reason why I chose to sign the new petition for metal silverware to replace plastic goods at lunch. 

Plastic silverware is convenient, but the accumulated waste is significant. Seabury could fundraise for an initial purchase of metal wares, which would reduce both waste and costs. Dishwashing would require additional labor, but since students already complete chores after lunch, the hassle of assigning a few students to wash silverware would be negligible. Swapping out silverware is a small step, but making minor changes even when detrimental to convenience helps us to quite literally put our money where our mouth is. 

Educating students about climate change and how to fix it is an optimistic step. However, we as students must identify and solve close-to-home problems in addition to learning about widespread issues. That will enable us to have a real impact overtime, making the planet as green as our shirts.