As of September 24th, 2020, Bishop O’Dowd’s Senior Eco Leaders released a video of their mission statement and plans for the next month on their social media. Eco Leaders began the official start of Coastal Cleanup Month, which encourages students and families to begin cleaning neighborhoods, parks, and beaches utilizing the Clean Swell app.
Eco Leader Sofia Gonzalez described the importance of combating climate change within the O’Dowd community, stating,
“With Covid-19 and remote learning it’s going to be difficult moving forward, but not impossible. This year we want to emphasize utilizing online resources to our advantage.”
Forest fires, poor air quality, and new state laws have caused greater concern for environmental health, especially within the Bay Area. Eco Leaders at Bishop O’Dowd are responsible for events and initiatives promoting sustainability and educating students on how one’s actions affect the planet.
For the 2020-21 year, Eco Leaders are doubling their efforts to spread awareness about the dangers of climate change and how to help from home. “I feel like we’re seeing the first-hand effect of what happens when you ignore these problems,” says Sofia, “and we plan to combat them throughout the school year.” To achieve these goals, Sofia detailed that the Eco Club has developed bi-weekly virtual meetings for students to attend. In addition, Eco Club has started new school-wide monthly objectives, posted on Schoology and other media to promote the communal effort. These objectives encourage students, parents, and peers to engage while providing a step by step process to make combating climate change as accessible as possible.
Eco Leaders strive to fully embrace the new technical era of remote learning and play a vital role in teaching the community about the environment. By organizing the Eco Club, Earth Week, and aiding in the Living Lab, Eco Leaders have become a fundamental part of Bishop O’Dowd’s kinship with creation. They both inform and act on behalf of the community as a force of positivity.
Sofia Gonzales detailed the process for developing additional remote resources to keep the O’Dowd Spirit alive. “We’ve been working on updating a website from past Eco Leaders to upload ‘what are the Eco Leaders up to.’ This way, we have more inspiration and interactions while… 6 feet apart.” Although still in development, the Eco Leaders are persisting to achieve a healthier lifestyle for all within the community and heal mother earth in the process.
“It’s the Eco Leaders’ responsibility to provide resources and tools to live a more sustainable and eco-friendly life, but it is up to each of us to apply what we’ve learned to save our planet.”