“Social change, not climate change!”

BVH Green Team organizes virtual climate change walkout


Nicole Macgaffey

Students used this downloadable background to use during the virtual climate change walkout. Backgrounds were made by the BVH Green Team, who also organized the walkout.

As the current 2020-2021 school year disrupts established routines, Bonita Vista High’s (BVH) Green Team, a club specializing in climate change prevention, is finding ways to continue inspiring the community to take action against climate change. In order to maintain proper outreach, the club organized a virtual Climate Change walkout on Oct. 25 as a means for BVH students to help advocate against climate injustice.

“Green Team had previously organized last year’s in-person student walkout and we wanted to continue this work of activism despite everything being virtual,” Green Team President and senior Madison Bianes said. “The pandemic may have stopped many events this year, but it hasn’t stopped climate change.” 

Fellow Green Team member and junior Anna Maya believes that the walkout was an opportunity for BVH staff and students to become more educated on the topic of global warming. 

“The walkout was our witness to the errors we have made in degrading our ecosystems and to inspire or create awareness of what is happening to our planet,” Vice President and junior Bibiana Martinez said. 

With distance learning preventing an in-person walkout on school campus, Green Team sought to find virtual options that further stressed the clubs intent. In utilizing technology, Bianes emphasized the importance of the Green Team’s Instagram account which hosted a climate action week. It’s purpose was to encourage students to pursue sustainable living every day through the accounts informative infographics.

This persistence was followed up by the walkout itself, which encouraged students to set their Zoom or Google Classroom background to a climate action poster during 6th period. Students were also invited to attend the Green Team’s walkout livestream on Youtube. The latter of which presented students the opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns regarding climate change.

“We were trying to attract all students no matter what background. Climate change is a global issue involving everyone that lives on earth,” Martinez said. 

The walkout received “close to a dozen participants,” a result that Maya claims was less than what the club had anticipated. She further explains the club had a mixed reaction despite understanding how difficult it may be for students to stay informed of virtual activities. In spite of the low attendance, Martinez proclaims the club was satisfied with their work.

“I’m extremely proud of all the Green Team members, especially since most of the club is new this year and it was their first year organizing a climate action event,” Bianes said

An important factor behind the walkout was Green Team’s hope that it would encourage the youth to use the power of their voices to demand change. With students stepping up and spreading awareness, Maya believes this is critical towards understanding the dangers of climate change. 

“Statistics show that if we continue burning the amount of fossil fuels that we are now, our earth will not be able to sustain our carbon footprint. We will kill the earth if we do not do something about it now,” Maya said.

A major incentive behind these efforts is the hope that it will garner attention from administration and government officials. As the Green Team continues their attempts of reforming climate change opinions, Bianes hopes this will motivate officials to create regulations that keep earth healthy for future generations.

“The effects of climate change are impacting all of our lives negatively. If we don’t do something now, not only will [the] Earth continue to suffer, but we will experience even worse effects of climate change,” Bianes said. “We can even see from the climate clock in New York City that we have only seven years to change our ways until the effects of climate change on the earth are irreversible. We need to take climate action now.”