“We want to experience the same beautiful earth our parents and grandparents did but due to climate change, this is becoming less likely. We’re keen to take strong action because now is the only time we have to reverse the problems humans have created: by the time we are adults, it’ll be too late.”
Natasha Nguyen, Year 11
Meriden students are concerned about the effects of climate change and are passionately engaged in environmental activism, starting in their own backyards. In lieu of attending Friday’s student protests, Meriden House Officers will be running “Plant a Pledge”, their own initiative which they hope will communicate that it is everyone’s responsibility to make positive changes that will allow their generation to inherit a healthy Earth.
Natasha Nguyen, Year 11 student and House Officer, said Brydie Arkell and Madeleine Whip came up with the idea during a House Officer’s meeting.
“Plant a Pledge encourages Meriden girls to bring to school containers that they would normally throw in the bin and we will help them re-use the containers as pots,” she said.
“At lunchtime on Friday, we are providing soil and seeds, so the girls can take their containers home and continue to care for their plants. We are also encouraging each girl to write a personal pledge on the side of her container which will be something she can do in her everyday life to make our Earth a little greener, such as taking the bus to school rather than driving or reducing shower times by a few minutes.”
“It is through action that we feel can make a real, lasting impact by increasing the number of plants in our environment, which helps keep our air healthy and through the long-term reminder to the girls to make an effort to live in an ecologically sustainable way,” Natasha said.
She said Meriden girls are concerned about the destruction of the natural environment but also the impact of a damaged environment on the wellbeing of people, particularly those of low socioeconomic status.
“Over the past one hundred years, we’ve seen the gap between the rich and the poor widen, both economically and in terms of mortality and we can widely attribute this to a decline in the health of the environment,” Natasha said.
“I want to be able to raise my children on a planet where they can drink clean water, visit parks with great biodiversity and breathe clean air. This is only a possibility if we listen to the advice of environmental scientists, only then can lasting change be implemented. Each of us can make a difference and that is what we are doing at school on Friday,” she said.