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Spokane students to compete to reduce climate impact

Courtesy of Gonzaga University

Students in Spokane are competing to reduce their family, and schools’ impact on the environment in the city’s first annual climate cup.

The trophy and competition, a collaboration between the city, the school district and Gonzaga University’s Center for Climate, is designed to encourage students, their parent and teachers, to educate themselves and others about climate change.

Brian Henning, the director of the Climate Center, says there are a few ways students can participate. He says they can use a free website created by the city which allows people to track their climate footprint, and provides ways to reduce it.

“I really love the idea in 1970, on the first Earth Day more than 50 years ago it was young people going home and encouraging their families to learn how to recycle,” Henning said. “The 21st century version of that is using these convenient digital tools to learn about our impact on the climate.”

Eliza Dawley, a sophomore at Lewis and Clark High School who’s a member of the district’s student advisory council on climate change, says she’s hoping the climate cup will give students a tool to talk to both their teachers, and their parents.

“Young people are just looking for an opportunity to help out, whether that be in legislation or education, there's a lot that we can and are willing to do,” Dawley said. “So I'm adults will give us even a chance to show that we can, and will put in the extra mile to raise awareness and act for climate change.”

Students can find more information on the Gonzaga Climate Center’s website, and sign up on the Sustainable Spokane website. Whichever school’s students reduce their carbon impact the most by the end of May will win the trophy.

Rebecca White is a 2018 graduate of Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She's been a reporter at Spokane Public Radio since February 2021. She got her start interning at her hometown paper The Dayton Chronicle and previously covered county government at The Spokesman-Review.