If you’re not familiar with my series #WCW, I decided to start profiling women across the world who inspire me. Since I don’t have the opportunity to interview everyone on my podcast or on a show, I figured I could just as efficiently spread their message through Life Unfiltered. A few weeks ago a Forbes writer forwarded me an email from a young adult who had reached out to her, and I was happy to invite Sarah to be this weeks #WCW! Let’s hear how she lives life unfiltered.
A: What sparked your interest in Climate Change?
Sarah: I was first introduced to the climate crisis in the 6th grade. My class spent a month dedicated to exploring the causes and effects of climate change. This was an eye-opening experience for me. I had never felt so personally connected to a social justice issue. Most problems I had witnessed before such as gun violence, immigration rights, racism, etc. did not seem to apply to me on a personal level. The climate crisis was very different. I discovered that I played a key role in the increase of CO2 in our atmosphere, and without urgent action, global warming will result in the extinction of the human species.
A: How would you advise someone who is trying to be vegan but doesn’t know where to begin?
Sarah: For those who would like to transition to a vegan lifestyle, I recommend starting off slow. You don’t have to wake up tomorrow morning and stop eating animal products. Instead, you can transition to a plant-based diet at a pace that is right for you. As a first step, try to dedicate one meal of your day to vegan food, or as an alternative to ordering a meat burger try a veggie burger. These small steps will make the idea of going vegan much less overwhelming and will teach you how easy it is to transition to a plant-based diet. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be 100% vegan to make a difference. Maybe you decide you just can’t imagine living without cheese. That’s Ok! You can still make an effort by reducing your intake of other animal products like meat or eggs. There are many resources online for going vegan, some of my favorites are the Vegan Society and ilovevegan.com
A: Do you have a role model that has helped spark this determination in you?
Sarah: Oh my gosh, so many! One that truly sparked my determination to take climate action is my friend, Charles Orgbon. In 7th grade I attended a camp called Youth Empowered Action Camp and Charles was my camp counselor. At the time I was having a difficult time finding my role in the climate movement. I didn’t know any “youth activists”, I had only seen a few on social media. I was skeptical of my capabilities and on the verge of giving up altogether. Charles showed me that I was wrong and that I had the power to make real change. Charles founded a non-profit organization called Greening Forward when he was 12 years old and told me all about his experience as a climate activist. I finally felt capable of making change and became determined to try and fight for climate justice.
A: How do you plan to incorporate your fight for climate change into the future?
Sarah: Activism has taught me where I fit in the world, and that is inspiring change for the advancement of society. I want to die one day knowing I played a role that changed history. I will not stop fighting for climate justice until I see a promising future for society. I see myself pursuing a career with a focus on climate activism, whether that be through politics, business, or leadership. I promise you that activism will forever be a part of my life.
A: What is one small thing that citizens of the United States can do to contribute to the fight for climate change?
Sarah: Spread the word! Educate and share information about the climate crisis with your friends and family in person and on social media. In order for politicians and leaders to listen to us, we must show that the people of the United States are united for climate justice. But how can we unite for climate justice unless everyone is aware of what is happening? I like to challenge myself to start one conversation every day with someone new about the climate crisis. It is an easy way to contribute to the fight for climate justice on a daily basis.