Get Organized For The Environment This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The world is a scary place. News of environmental problems surrounds us. Water pollution, forest destruction, acid rain and overflowing landfills all can seem like insurmountable problems that threaten to destroy life. The truth is that now is the pivotal time in the course of the world's environment. The next ten years will determine the future course of the earth.

However, we cannot waste time asking ourselves whether these environmental problems can be solved. Instead, we should ask how we, as high school students, can deal with the crisis at hand and prepare for the future. We are a powerful and vital group of citizens that can effect positive change, and that we can start at the grass roots level with our own school environmental groups. We need not only a motivated minority of activists, but also a well-educated and concerned upcoming generation.

Judging from the numerous environmental-oriented articles in the last two issues of The 21st Century, there are many high school students who are independently active and aware. We need to focus this interest through individual school environmental clubs and through a state-wide network of such clubs. Massachusetts High schools Organized to Protect the Earth (Mass. H.O.P. E.) does just that, by encouraging the development of individual clubs and by providing a network through which they can communicate and take unified action.

Do you have an environmental group at your school? If you do, Mass HOPE can connect you with other student environmentalists to exchange ideas and discuss projects and problems. If not, HOPE has a guide book to help you start a group and can put you in touch with successful leaders who can help you. Finally, as a statewide network, HOPE can bring schools and groups together to take unified action to deal with many of the environmental problems that face Massachusetts every day.

This is our world. We cannot sit idly by while our future is squandered away by short-sighted policies. We must realize the condition the environment is in and convince others of its importance through education. We then must tap into the intense energy of the adolescent optimism to change the society around us. High school students have the power and enthusiasm to become one of the most effective environmental movements in the country. And we are just beginning.

If you would like to become involved in Mass HOPE at any level,as a club leader, potential organizer, or just an interested individual, please contact either Tim Reardon at 749-6432 or Sarah Goodman at 472-1094. A statewide meeting is planned for March 23 at the Tufts campus in Medford. Call for details. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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