Clim-ACT-ivists Club Works Locally to Make Global Impact


OH Clim-ACT-ivists Club president Anya Al-Salem (right) poses with OH art teacher Ms. Chrisanthy Vargo at the climate change themed art exhibit displaying OH students’ artwork at Daggerwing Nature Center last year.


The new motto of the Clim-ACT-ivists, devised by the club’s secretary Elisa Weinberg, says it all: “Knowledge is power, but action is progress.” This depicts the Clim-ACT-ivists’ mentality of both educating about climate change and taking active measures to hinder it.

The Clim-ACT-ivists is a club here at Olympic Heights founded last year by current senior Anya Al-Salem and former social studies teacher Ms. Renee Manwaring. This year it is sponsored by math teacher Ms. Amanda Ludy.

Al-Salem says she was inspired to start the club because of “the dire consequences of climate change on the planet.” She continues, “Many people remain unaware of the severity of climate change, and as the president of the Clim-ACT-ivists, I seek to spread awareness about this issue and inspire my peers to take action in order to preserve the planet for future generations.”

The club has already begun to further awareness by discussing causes and effects of climate change and what individuals can do to contribute towards a solution. A spokeswoman from the Palm Beach Zoo came to a Clim-ACT-ivists meeting and gave a presentation on how to talk about climate change to climate change deniers. She provided insight on how to approach this imperative, and at times controversial, topic in a way that everyone can understand and relate to. To achieve progress, it is vital for students and the rest of the community to be open to discussing the reality of climate change.

Several projects are being undertaken by the club, as well. Most notably, the Clim-ACT-ivists are implementing a carpool initiative in order to reduce carbon emissions and help limit the greenhouse gases that are causing Earth’s temperature to rise. The carpool program was inspired by the Palm Beach Zoo, whose employees partake in a monthly carpool. The carpool will first be introduced to OH teachers and staff, and it is aimed to begin in January 2018. Staff will be able to sign up and pair with friends or colleagues living close to one another. If participation in the carpool program is successful, the program will be expanded to encourage students to partake.

Last year, Al-Salem organized a climate change themed art exhibit displaying OH students’ artwork at Daggerwing Nature Center. She hopes to repeat this project this year. Additionally, the Clim-ACT-ivists will be volunteering at Daggerwing.

The Clim-ACT-ivists will also be joining forces with the Green Lions club. Since both clubs share many of the same interests and goals, they will have joint meetings. The two clubs plan to collaborate on projects such as cultivating the school garden and share in volunteer opportunities such as beach cleanups.

A long term goal of the Clim-ACT-ivists is to create a solar panel proposal for OH. Implementing solar panels can be expensive and somewhat inconvenient, as the state of Florida does not do much to support solar energy use. However, if the school sets its sight on pursuing this objective, solar panels and the use of renewable energy could become a reality in a few years.

By starting with small achievements, the Clim-ACT-ivists are contributing to the bigger picture of preserving our planet from the negative impact of climate change and striving towards a better future for generations to come.