Students for Environmental Action

Students for Environmental Action is a club focused on environmental sustainability efforts.

Tatum+Calderwood%2C+senior%2C+member+of+SEA+Club%2C+working+on+club+activities.

Bea Kaskie

Tatum Calderwood, senior, member of SEA Club, working on club activities.

Students for Environmental Action, commonly referred to as SEA, is a new club being offered at Liberty this year. Seniors Bea Kaskie and Chante Hardaway decided to establish this club at Liberty after being inspired by neighboring school West High’s SEA club. SEA club is designated to improve environmental sustainability in schools and the community- they take initiative in improving current systems, and raising awareness of different environmental issues.

 

“It’s based off of West’s Students for Environmental Action, and the idea that they had a lot of student leadership, and we really admired that,” explained Kaskie. “We felt that we were kind of lacking a really strong and organized environmental science club and environmental action club.”

 

Hardaway was inspired to start this club because of her strong interest in environmental sustainability. She is frustrated with the current lack of sustainability here at Liberty, and hopes that starting this club will lead to change. Her plans for the club begin with restructuring the recycling program here at Liberty. 

 

“We are both really passionate about it. I want to major in it, I just felt like everything that I was involved in was kind of centered around the idea of environmental justice,” said Hardaway. “I heard over the summer working with the Green Iowa AmeriCorps that the recycling here didn’t actually get recycled, and that was very frustrating to me. I want to see this change. The main thing we are addressing right now is recycling, so reduce, re-use, recycle, all of those, and anything we can kind of do to help with climate issues.”

 

Hardaway and Kaskie are currently working with the administration here at Liberty on creating an effective recycling program. They plan to create a more intricate recycling program by having more recycling bins available throughout the school. They also plan to have organized bins dedicated to different types of recycling and to promote awareness about sustainability. 

 

“Our goals for this club are not only to promote the idea of environmental sustainability in our school, but to actually act on that through the idea of student leadership and student involvement,” stated Kaskie. “We also have the recycling program that we are starting up, so this program we are going to do school wide recycling on multiple levels in the lunchroom and in classrooms, and we are going to get that rolling soon- we are getting the final approvals on that.”

 

“Our plan is to start a recycling program here where in the lunchroom you will have a bin where you can throw plastics or paper items, and part of our club will be rinsing out the containers so they won’t be contaminated when we recycle them, and those will be disposed of properly, placed in a bin, and Johnson County Refuge will come and pick them up from us,” explains Hardaway.

 

They are hoping that through activism, club efforts, and a growing number of club participants they can accommodate Liberty to implement more sustainability efforts. 

 

“We can communicate as a student body to raise our concerns about climate change and beyond climate change, and go into the idea of what a sustainable future forward community looks like, and we hope that Liberty can embody that. We know that Liberty can embody that through this work and through this organization if we step up,” said Kaskie. “The goals of this club are not only to be a creative outlet for a lot of students to kind of voice their ideas on how we can do this, but as a way to develop leadership skills in them.”

 

The club is also focusing on raising awareness of different issues in hopes of encouraging the rest of the student body the importance of environmental sustainability.

 

 “I think the main goal we have right now is making our school more environmentally conscious. We want to make everyone aware of environmental things occuring in our community and our state and our country. Even at a smaller level, things they can do at home,” furthered Hardaway. 

 

Jaime Soto, sophomore, decided to join SEA this year. He feels that environmental activism is important to have here at Liberty and he feels that this club will have a positive impact. He decided to join this club after attending a meeting because he was compelled by this club’s goals and community presence; this club’s plans also aim to promote sustainability beyond Liberty, and throughout the community.

 

“Regarding the environmental activism aspect of SEA, it’s very important here at Liberty, as it could very well affect the things around us here in Iowa and also anywhere else in the country,” said Soto. “My favorite part about being in SEA is learning new things about the environment, even from the two meetings I’ve been to you can tell they know what they are talking about. It gives you a sense of community within the classroom where people are learning from one another, and you can use that outside the classroom to teach other people. That really just gives you a sense of gratification.”

 

During meetings, they also participate in different activities. 

 

“This Friday, September 24th, we are going to make these balls filled with seeds and throw them. Eventually by the spring it should sprout some vegetation. We do a lot of fun activities like that,” said Soto. “We go out and do a lot of fun things. If you have a lot of school spirit, you could also join SEA just for that.”

SEAs float for the 2021 Homecoming parade. (Chante Hardaway)

 

SEA meets every Monday at 8:15 in Mrs. Long’s room G026, and they have some additional meetings when necessary. Every Monday meeting will describe plans for the week, and will offer the opportunity to join the GroupMe for this club. 

 

They are always accepting new members. Interested students should visit their instagram page for information on meetings and other content related to their goals for the student body. On their instagram, you can also find infographics created by members of this club on environmental activism/education related to the issues that interest them.

 

“Activism in Liberty is always important, or any high school in general. Just spreading awareness about issues whether that be the environment, or raising awareness about stuff like women’s rights, drug addiction, whatever, it’s always important to have that aspect of new ideas and new innovators in the community,” stated Soto. 

 

SEA is open to all students, and encourages anyone interested to join. 

 

“I think that SEA is such a unique club that anyone and everyone can join it. If you have any passion for the environment or are really creative and want an outlet for those things, I think SEA is a great place to start,” stated Hardaway.

 

Students for Environmental action is a club for activists and environmentalists. They aim to enhance Liberty’s environmental efforts further, and make a lasting impact on the community.  

We have such a strong and powerful voice that I think is often ignored by ourselves, but it’s super important because when we as youths stick up for what we believe and for our futures, we are able to create a lasting impact”

— Bea Kaskie

 

“We have such a strong and powerful voice that I think is often ignored by ourselves, but it’s super important because when we as youths stick up for what we believe in and for our futures, we are able to create a lasting impact,” said Kaskie. “I encourage everyone to get out there, join our club, join whatever you believe that pushes the future forward […] think about your future first.”