The constant barrage of news about climate change, drinking water contamination, and pollution in the Great Lakes region can feel overwhelming. If you care, it’s hard to know what to do or where to start.
That's where Stateside's new series comes in. We're featuring ordinary people who identified a problem – no matter how big or small – and chose to act.
These are the people in your neighborhood who are working to make Michigan a greener place. We’re calling them the Climate Crew.
Logan Vear is a University of Michigan senior studying environmental engineering, and she is the only undergraduate student to sit on the university’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality. She's also the co-founder of the Climate Action Movement in Michigan.
The Commission on Carbon Neutrality was pushed forward by student activists like Vear. She said fellow students in the Climate Action Movement started attending UM Regent meetings a while ago.
“By beginning of last school year, they were actually beginning to hear us," said Vear. "I was at one of the very first Regents meetings in September, and two weeks later was when President Schlissel made his announcement that there was going to be a commission made and progress moving forward."
Vear told the Michigan Daily that she didn't see herself as an environmental activist when she co-founded the Climate Action Movement. But Vear says that's starting to change now.
“I work within all different realms, and I am starting to, I think, more embody that term and that title. But for a while it was something I thought I had a responsibility to do,” Vear said. “As a student, I felt that this was a really good way in which I could leverage my position to get the University to move forward.”
Vear is hoping to hold the University of Michigan accountable to an ambitious goal of carbon neutrality by 2030 or sooner.
“Being clear that the systems that we currently have are not working. I think that’s the first step,” Vear said. “It needs to be soon, and it needs to hold the university accountable.”
Know someone who has stepped up to do their part to make Michigan a greener place? Let us know! Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Climate Crew” in the subject line.
This post was written by production assistant Catherine Nouhan.