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Teen-led climate group kicks off Zero Waste Week with a clothing swap at the Sebastopol Farmers Market
Noa Polston Schwartz, the founder of Teach Climate and Redefine It, is excited about the all-ages clothing swap her organization is holding for Zero Waste Week at the Sebastopol Farmers Market this Sunday.
“This is actually our fourth clothing swap. I think because our organization is mostly teenage girls, right?” she said with a laugh. “It’s fun, but it's also a good way to recruit people because people invite their friends and they're like, ‘Hey, wait, maybe I should get in on this.’”
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It’s also a good way to keep clothing out of the landfill, she said—ergo, the Zero Waste connection.
Schwartz started Teach Climate and Redefine It when she was in 8th grade at Hillcrest. Now 17, she’s just about to start her senior year at Analy.
The group’s main activity, as its name suggests, is teaching about climate change. Schwartz estimates that they’ve done over 35 climate change presentations at local schools over the years.
“Our main mission is to educate Sonoma County's youth about the climate crisis, give them tools and preparedness for our future,’” she said. “So we do presentations and also actions like the clothing swaps.”
The group has also worked with the organization Wine to Water to build water filters for areas where climate change has made clean water hard to come by.
“We had people come and assemble water filters at the Barlow that were sent out to different communities globally who needed access to clean water and to areas affected by climate-caused disasters. We had 85 participants come and help build the filters.”
Schwartz is also looking to the future. She’d like the organization she founded to continue at Analy after she graduates.
“Last year, we had a big initiative to recruit some younger members,” she said. “So we reached out; we put up posters all around school that said, ‘Come check out this little organization, and we’ll buy you frozen yogurt, no strings attached.’ And I met a couple of awesome freshmen and sophomores from Analy, and every week they would just be like, ‘Oh, hey, can I bring this person.’ And we were like, “Yes, please!’ So now we have a good group—a dozen or so people. And I'm training three of my amazing members who are gonna take it over when I leave. They’re super excited, and so we’ll keep passing it down.”
Got clothes you’re not wearing? Bring them to the clothing swap!
Schwartz invites you (regardless of your age) to come to the clothing swap on Sunday, July 23, 9:30 am to 1 pm, in the downtown plaza at the Sebastopol Farmers Market. Bring your clean, pre-loved items to participate!
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