Adam Edge is a senior at Martin L. Nesbitt Discovery Academy. He is the president of the school’s Youth for Environmental Stewardship Club and volunteers at the N.C. Arboretum, where he teaches kids about nature in Western North Carolina. He aspires to be an environmental scientist.
What sustainability initiatives at your school are you most proud of?
Many of the students at Nesbitt Discovery Academy are passionate about conserving the environment and promoting sustainability in WNC, including the members of the Youth for Environmental Stewardship Club, of which I am the president. The purpose of YES Club is to get out in the Asheville area and better the environment. The club’s collaboration with Asheville GreenWorks to remove trash from our community is my favorite sustainability initiative I have been a part of.
How is your generation’s approach to sustainability different from that of other generations’?
My generation is a lot more invested in the future of the planet, its climate and the organisms we share our home with. The internet and social media platforms have allowed my generation to stay connected and informed with the things we are passionate about, and these platforms serve as a wonderful method of spreading awareness about sustainability and environmental issues.
What is one step people in WNC can take to promote sustainability?
I think the concept of “leave no trace” is the most important set of guidelines one can follow to promote sustainability in WNC. The mountains in our area are filled to the brim with beautiful scenery, an abundance of nature and lots of hiking trails for people to enjoy. Conserving their beauty by leaving these magnificent mountains just as we found them is of the utmost importance.
Is the educational system doing enough to inform people about long-term environmental concerns like climate change?
The educational system is doing a decent job at informing students about the dangers of climate change and other long-term environmental problems, but a lot more could be done. Most students are aware of these issues after they take the required science classes, but they are rarely taught about solutions, especially on a smaller scale. The educational system needs to do a better job of teaching students how to do their part in saving the planet by making sustainable choices on a daily basis.