Youth for Sustainable Solutions created to help environment

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The environment has been a topic in political debates for decades, but the newly created Youth for Sustainable Solutions club has made their mission a nonpolitical priority.

Youth for Sustainable Solutions was created to help the environment and educate the community on sustainability.

“Our mission is to reduce waste and improve overall sustainability at Stillwater Area High School and the surrounding community. We also are focused on educating people on sustainability. There are so many ways to be kinder to our planet, but people are unaware of them,” Maggie O’Reilly, senior and website designer said.

YFSS was created last year, and has grown in size since then.

“Youth for Sustainable Solutions has been a club at Stillwater for one year, since Alexander Pavlicin and Josiah Gregg founded it. We have approximately 20 members, and the mission of YFSS is to provide a youth force committed to the creation of sustainable practices throughout our community,” sophomore Levi Gregg said.

Our hope is that the results of a Climate Report Card will encourage the the City Council and community members to increase their efforts to make Stillwater more sustainable.”

— Maggie O'Reilly

While some issues are out of reach for a small high school club, YFSS is working their hardest to solve more reachable situations.

“There are many concerning environmental issues on an international, national, and local level but around our school specifically is the amount of trash around our school campus along with our school’s carbon footprint from energy use,” Emmery Hartwig, senior and club co-president said.

Youth for Sustainable Solutions is looking into some huge projects, including one which explores Stillwater’s environmental status to help reduce the likelihood of a harmful future.

“YFSS is working to get a Climate Report Card on the city of Stillwater, which would grade the city on its climate policies, waste production, carbon emissions and other climate related categories. The Report Card is part of an effort YFSS has been involved with to pass the Climate Inheritance Resolution through Stillwater the City Council,” O’Reilly said. “Our hope is that the results of a Climate Report Card will encourage the the City Council and community members to increase their efforts to make Stillwater more sustainable.”

YFSS is positive that they will be able to achieve a more sustainable community with this Report Card.

“The Resolution would help protect future generations from the current and potential problems relevant to Stillwater, such as more severe storms, longer and hotter heat waves, worsening flood and drought cycles, growing invasive species and insect problems, and increased wildfires,” O’Reilly said.

With Earth Day happening in April, YFSS has hopes for events to get their club’s name spreading.

“Earth Day is April 22 and YFSS is trying to plan a day similar to what the Amnesty club does for Human Rights Day. We want to bring in guest speakers to educate students on their power to create a greener world and the current local and global environmental issues,” O’Reilly said.

O’Reilly suggests checking out YFSS’ new website to learn more about the club and their mission.

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