Waterloo youth meet to devise concrete ways to fight climate change at home

Youth in Waterloo region are getting together to come up with a plan to help combat climate change. The event on Saturday will put like-minded youth in the same room to talk about the issues and form meaningful connections with others looking to do the same thing.

'The goal is to have a concrete actionable solution by the end of the day,' says organizer

Tyler De Sousa is the co-ordinator of Youth Action on Climate Change. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

Youth in Waterloo are getting together on Saturday to talk about what they can do when it comes to climate change.

Hosted by local organization Youth Action on Climate Change (YACC), the Waterloo Youth Climate Leadership Workshop is hoping to give the students and youth some of the critical tools they need to tackle climate change in their communities.

"Basically we're going to sit down as a group and discuss how we can act on the local level here in Waterloo region to help impact climate change as youth," Tyler De Sousa, coordinator with YACC told CBC Kitchener-Waterloo.

The workshop is open to anyone under the age of 25 and De Sousa says that during the day-long event, attendees will get the chance to both come up with ideas for combating climate change and form meaningful connections with other young people looking to do the same thing.

"The goal is to have a concrete actionable solution by the end of the day and a collective action movement that we can execute here in the region," he said.

Having piloted the workshop in Guelph last year, De Sousa says he was pleasantly surprised at how engaged and knowledgeable the students who attended already were with climate change action.

"The stuff that these high school kids were coming up with honestly blew me away," he said. "I remember myself in high school and I was not as active and as engaged as these kids were."

One of the students who will be at Saturday's event is MacGregor Senior Public School student Dauood Ali.

Starting in Grade 8 in the fall, he's already organized a pop-up for fellow students where they came up with a number of ideas for how they could take climate change action in their school.

Last month, he and about 80 other students at the school came up with a plan to implement zero waste, as well as awareness campaigns about climate both at school and in the community.

At this weekend's event, he wants to meet other like-minded youth, continue the work that he already started and learn lessons he and other kids can implement at MacGregor. 

"The hope is to [see] what I can do better and give that back to our school," he said.


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