Reduce, reuse, recycle, change the world


As a young girl, Melissa Gonzales was always taught about the importance of conserving our environment. The motto that stuck with her is the well known ‘Save the Earth’. It may sound like a difficult task, but together with her peers, she thinks they can make real change in our environment.

As a junior, Gonzales took it upon herself to start the Environmentalist club at school. With the current state of the world, the environmental issue should no longer be ignored. Issues such as climate change, pollution and protecting the oceans are just some of the many global issues that she feels people need to be more aware of in this day and age. This club allows students to discuss important topics and teaches them how to better our environment. The first Environmentalist club meeting was on February 4 and there are many to follow starting every other Thursday.

“The club will switch between educating on certain environmental topics and projects on ways to help improve and or conserve our environment,” Gonzales said. “The students are being educated and inspired to learn while also getting hands on experience.”

The Environmentalist club allows for students to spread awareness for the environmental issues happening all around the globe and focus on how to improve them, which is a mission that is deeply personal for Gonzales.

“This club is important to me because global warming and issues like that are happening right now,” Gonzales said. “Like forest fires are happening everywhere and if we start it young, especially in high school, I think we can prevent that later in the future.”

You can always count on Gen Z to encourage real change when it is needed. Through apps such as Instagram, Tik Tok and Twitter, teens have found many ways to raise the concern for these ongoing climate issues and fight for our environment.

“I can account multiple times where I was seeing certain environmental issues for the first time via social media,” Gonzales said. “I think it’s [social media] a great way to get across to younger, more available crowds; people that have the greatest impact on our generation.”

Gonzales on the other hand, mentioned how some of the issues being brought up are not new to her and that her family has chosen to be environmentally responsible for a long time now.

“Ways my family and I stay environmentally friendly is recycling and composting. These things are so simple— everyone can do it on the daily,” Gonzales said. “My family and I have a trash can and a separate bin for recycling we take out once a week, along with a compost bin in our backyard which we turn every month and use in our garden as fertilizer.”

Gonzales always wanted to get involved with school activities, and this played into reasoning for starting the Environmentalist club. She wanted to start a club that she was very passionate about so inevitably she decided to make one focusing on the environment.

“I really wanted to get more involved in school and I’ve been wanting to start a club for a long time,” Gonzales said. “I honestly thought that we already had an Environmentalist club but since we didn’t, I was like ‘Okay well this is something I’ve always been interested in’ cause you know, save the Earth, so I was just like ‘I’m gonna start the club.’’’

Many Bridgeland students were eager to sign up when Gonzales announced her plans to start the Environmentalist club, as many of them had strong feelings towards the environmental issues going on

“I think a lot of people took interest in it because when I was talking about starting it, a lot of people were harping on me like, ‘When are you gonna start it, because I want to join’,” Gonzales said. “And right after I put up the form, it already had 60 people.”

About 45 students ended up attending the first Environmentalist club meeting, which consisted of introducing members, discussing what the club was going to focus on and what projects they will begin in their future meetings.

“I think the club is a great way to get other students involved in helping out the environment and raise awareness about climate change,” Treasurer Areesha Rahman said.

Gonzales plans to do many service projects through her club, such as making reusable bags out of plastic, and wants to encourage students at Bridgeland to serve within their community. Starting the Environmentalist club was a step in the right direction for change.

“We only have one Earth,” Gonzales said, “and I think staying educated and up to date with current environmental issues is the only way to promote and encourage change.”