Youth-led org Grey to Green empowers young people during the pandemic
June 26, 2020
As the youth climate movement shows, children and teens play a big role in tackling climate change. Avery Sangster, 12, is one of those youth addressing climate change by empowering young people.
Despite just graduating from elementary school, Avery, with her friend Violet Gibbs, has been building an environmental organization, Grey to Green, as a platform for youth to get involved and stay informed. Their website formally launched on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
“I know there’s a lot of other environmental websites out there, but personally for me, a lot of it was hard to understand because it wasn’t in the voice of children,” Avery told Earth Day Network. “We thought that Grey to Green was a good opportunity for us and other kids our ages or even younger to understand what was happening and learn about the environment.”
Climate change and climate science are often inaccessible to the public, let alone children. Grey to Green solves that problem with articles written by young people for young people. The goal is to mobilize the next generation of activists for a climate-impacted future.
“It’s our world that we’re going to grow up in,” said Avery. “With this website, we can inform people and we can turn all the pollution back to its natural beauty — from grey to green.”
The website features sixth-grade students who write on a number of topics, including plastic pollution, endangered species and food waste. But it’s not just articles. Since its launch, Grey to Green has built a team contributing to the site, writing articles, as well as making available sustainable crafts, climate actions and resources.
Once the coronavirus pandemic ends, Avery sees Grey to Green as a mobilizing force to organize cleanups and other environmental activities.
“We still want people to help the environment even though they’re at home,” said Avery. “Instead of just reading on the screen, they can actually go and do something.”
California, where Avery and her friends live, is hit especially hard by environmental impacts — wildfires, droughts and smog, all intensified in a warming world. But the United States isn’t the only country harmed by climate change. That’s why Grey to Green hopes to soon expand its team of contributors to include voices from around the world.
Though many of us are stuck inside during the pandemic, Grey to Green offers at-home solutions to continue to contribute to the environmental movement. It also shows the power and necessity of youth voices in the fight against climate change.
“We have such a creative mindset that when we put our minds to it, anything’s possible,” said Avery.