On Earth Day
Give Back to Mother Nature

As islanders, we understand the fragility of our earth and how it is amplified on our small stretch of land. The threat of receding coastlines or even pieces of trash marring the picturesque landscape is an example of the issues distressing the Earth at large. This planet gives us so much- life, food, entertainment, beauty, and especially, special places such as Nantucket. It is paramount that we give back and take care of Mother Earth. While Earth Day, on April 22nd, is a necessary reminder of the call to preserve our environment, the steps in which to do so are actions we should be mindful of integrating into our everyday lives.

We are faced with so many large scale issues that it may feel overwhelming where to begin or how one person can make a difference. Recently, we have been inspired by a relatively new committee, The Youth Climate Committee. This group of dedicated Nantucket High Schoolers, formed together through the Massachusetts Audubon Society, are making an effort to bring awareness to environmental issues within the context of how the island is affected. Whether it's learning about how to properly recycle plastics or what exactly is renewable energy and its benefits, they believe that change can come from personal knowledge and small actions.

This is the first environmental program the Nantucket High School has offered, thanks largely to the Mass Audubon Society for offering the opportunity after the Nantucket Climate Strike organized by some of the committee members last year. Member Maisie finds a group of like-minded young people that feel a mutual sense of urgency to help the environment as a step in the right direction. For these students, the key to reversing climate change relies on the younger generation. ‘Climate is the most pressing issue of our generation, especially living on the island’, explains committee member Brian. He believes, ‘change starts from the bottom’, and therefore they aspire to gain more involvement from their peers and then broaden awareness to all.

Even if you do not identify with younger generations, there are ways in which to become involved and make a difference. All are welcome to participate in the Youth Climate Committee's Climate Cafes: regular virtual, and hopefully soon in-person, meetings that focus on discussing one specific issue the island is facing. The most recent Climate Cafe discussed the coastline preservation where the students presented jarring facts exemplifying the percentage of the island coastlines that will be potentially impacted by storm flooding by the year 2070. A year that feels frightfully close, even to those so young. Participants of the meeting offered insight into how to find ways in which to present the data to the Town, allowing for a greater awareness of these issues and more mobility and resources for solving them.

The students are also helping to test a new environmental tracking app, Irys. An interactive app where anyone can search the environmental issues specific to their location, participate in discussion boards and post images of the issues they see such as erosion.

We feel inspired with a renewed sense of hope because the younger generation is passionate about tackling these environmental issues. We want to support them as much as we can. Nantucket Looms will promote future climate cafes and encourage everyone to join and learn how we can better protect our beautiful island. We will also be making a donation to the Youth Climate Committee through the Mass Audubon Society. We encourage our clients, vendors, staff, friends and family to also play a role in a way that is meaningful in protecting our Earth. It will take an island to make a difference.

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