As environmental awareness has increased worldwide, millions of teens have united to address the issue of climate change. Junior Katherine Eddleman is one of them and has promoted the cause of climate activism by starting the Environmental Club.
While in San Antonio for a volleyball tournament around two and a half years ago, Eddleman passed by SeaWorld. As she was walking by, she noticed a group of peaceful protesters. They held signs protesting the animal abuse that occurs at SeaWorld. Curious to learn more, Eddleman stopped by to read the infographics and signs the protesters were holding. “Friends don’t eat friends.” “Say no to fur.” “Meat is murder,” they said. She felt disgusted and immediately decided to not eat meat again.
“I actually kind of just went cold turkey one day,” Eddleman said. “After reading [the signs], I was like ‘oh my gosh’ and said ‘okay, I’m not eating meat after this,’ and I never went back.”
Eddleman’s one trip to SeaWorld transformed her to become the young environmental activist she is today.
Currently, Eddleman is making small changes to her diet every day, hoping to lead a vegan lifestyle once she gets to college.
“I don’t drink regular milk anymore, and I don’t eat as much cheese,” Eddleman said. “I’m trying to take it step by step.”
On a local level, Eddleman shares tips with students about what they can do to be more environmentally conscious. Her main focus is the current use of plastic.
“I think plastic use is something people should really focus on because that’s a really big polluter and causes pollution in the oceans and landfills,” Eddleman said.
The Environmental Club’s goal is to spread awareness about environmentally-friendly practices and information about climate crises occurring around the world. The club only started earlier this year and they are still working on finalizing plans, but they have planned school wide projects. She wants to put recycling bins in the locker rooms so athletes that use a lot of plastic water bottles can properly dispose of them. She also aspires to fundraise to give out reusable bags to students.
“If we’re better about getting bins in places like the commons that distinguish between cans and bottles and actual food waste, that will help,” Eddleman said.
Ultimately, Eddleman hopes to give the club a hands on approach so students have the opportunity to make a real change.
“We want to make it more than just us talking and actually engage with people,” Eddleman said.