Head of the Environmental Conservation (EC) Club at San Marin, junior Rowena Gonzalez works towards giving back to the environment and encouraging others to do so as well. She created the EC Club intending to give club members opportunities to do right by their community, despite not having a budget.
“Giving back to the environment after we have taken so much from it is something I strongly believe in,” Gonzalez said. “Take any opportunity you can to make a difference. No matter how big or how small it is, it will make an impact because the more people think that others are doing the work for them, the worse the problem gets.”
Gonzalez has been involved in multiple Counselor in Training trips over the years where she teaches younger generations about sustainability and the importance of respecting the environment. She is also a passionate advocate of buying organic products and understanding the origins of consumer goods.
“Do a background check on the products you purchase because most of the time the companies are the real problem,” Gonzalez said. “Vote with your dollars.”
Regardless of 2020’s chaotic reputation, Gonzalez shares how this past year has made a positive contribution to the environment’s well being. Not only have more people been spreading awareness Gonzalez explains, but the physical state of the environment has changed. The stay at home orders posted due to COVID-19 have reduced carbon emissions and helped restore parts of the Earth’s biodiversity.
“The environment has been returning to its natural state,” Gonzalez said. “It is becoming less affected by pollution, animals are starting to reappear again, and even species that were said to be extinct have been found.”
Ultimately, Gonzalez recognizes how the past year has posed challenges for both her club and members of the San Marin community to take grand actions towards saving the environment, but hopes people will see the bright sides to 2020.
“COVID has made it difficult to get together, do community service, and help give back physically, but that does not mean we should stop trying,” Gonzalez said.