SPRING LAKE — As drivers traveled through Spring Lake on Friday afternoon, a group of residents brought the climate to their attention.
Stationed at the intersection of West Savidge and Jackson streets, West Michigan residents and Spring Lake students joined together and participated in a climate strike. The local group joined countless others participating in climate strikes around the world on Friday.
“We want them to see that we care and raise awareness,” said Claire DeBlanc, a Spring Lake High School senior.
In May, Spring Lake students also participated in a global climate strike. The students participated once a week throughout the summer.
According to fridaysforfuture.org, Greta Thunberg started the Fridays for Future movement after she spent three weeks sitting in front of the Swedish parliament in protest of their lack of action regarding the climate.
SLHS senior Kayla Johnson said the global aspect of the strike is important because although one city is a good start, it’s hard for one place to make a big change to impact the climate. From a young age, Johnson said she started picking up plastic and trash, and she continues to see it along roadways and the beach.
“We should be taking better care of the Earth,” said Johnson, 17.
DeBlanc said the ongoing Fridays for Future strikes are trying to achieve stricter environmental laws. The strikes also give participants an opportunity to meet others and share ideas, she said.
Responses to the group’s efforts were varied, as some drivers honked in support while others laughed or swore at them, DeBlanc said.
In seeing the students strike and learning about the other global efforts to raise awareness about the climate, Johnson said she hopes people make a conscious effort to change their habits in an effort to become more sustainable.
Montague resident Sue Mack said she participated in the Spring Lake strike to support the students’ future.
“They’re the ones that will pay for the result of our negligence,” she said.