Environmental educators

Emma Azhan and Nikki Majidi take part in the new wave of young environmental educators through social media.

Emma Azhan
Azhan scubas in the ocean to study the effects of pollution on marine life.

Claire Nguyen, Page Editor

Fears run rampant throughout society today. One growing fear is the effects of global warming and climate change on Earth. To help, some cougars have stepped up to the plate to educate and inform. Two are Emma Azhan and Nikki Majidi. These environmental educators have taken to social media platforms to showcase the effects of a warming planet and ways to help.

Eduenviro showcases their consciousness for the planet through their Instagram profile picture. (Nikki Majidi)

Majidi is one of eight members in eduenviro, an Instagram page that focuses on the education of the environment and sustainability. Some of the organization’s top posts are “Eco-friendly Products to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint,” “Eco-friendly Laundry Habits” and “Sustainable Back to School.” Their posts reflect the goals that they have. 

“We want our followers to learn new ways to be environmentally sustainable, and environmentally conscious,” Majidi expressed. 

In total, eduenviro has posted 16 infographics about the environment, sustainability and their page. Eduenviro is a completely student-run account, but not every person goes to CVHS. 

“We met through a separate organization called the Youth Climate Activists Coalition. We started a group chat for the people in California. There are eight of us all spread throughout California, all in high school,” Majidi explained. 

The Youth Climate Activists Coalition started as a student-run group but now has an outreach through 8,000 schools worldwide. Although all the members of eduenviro are still in high school, Majidi has hopes for building the group outside of school. 

“We hope to continue to grow and maybe start clubs within the school or out of school with YCAC (Youth Climate Activist Coalition), or under eduenviro. We want to have the account continue and maybe pass it down when we go to college,” Majidi described. 

With members being so spread out, collaboration can be difficult. Even with the pandemic and stressful school lives, Majidi and the rest of eduenviro still make it work. 

“We usually call once a week or once every other week. Or we just send what we want to post beforehand to make sure everything is okay and post,” Majidi informed. 

Some young environmentalists have taken a different approach to educate. Azhan has started Terra, an educational program for young kids. Azhan takes kids under her wing to educate them about the planet and how to protect it through weekly Zoom lessons. 

“I hope that through my lessons, kids will grow up to love and respect the Earth as much as I do, and therefore do their part in saving the planet,” Azhan clarified. “I just want to do my part in contributing to a society that is conscious and compassionate in their view of Earth, and understands that the planet deserves the same love and respect from us that it gives.”

Much of Azhan’s compassion and love towards the planet is from her upbringing. She attended international schools in Malaysia where she was taught many of the current issues facing modern societies.

Azhan experienced infrastructural development that preserves the ecosystem at a small Malaysian island called Pangkor Laut. (Emma Azhan)

“Having rainforests and coral reefs around me all of my childhood, I developed a deep love and respect for our planet. Having to learn and see the damage humans have, and continue to cause to the Earth gave me a sense of responsibility and purpose to do everything I could to protect our planet,” Azhan elaborated. 

Azhan not only held the responsibility of teaching the younger generation but also making the program itself. At first, it was trial and error, but it all worked out in the end. 

“I reached out to the Mission Viejo Library to try and make Terra a summer program for elementary school kids. Sadly, my optimism was proven wrong and I had to begin thinking of how I could make my program work online,” Azhan recounted. “Once the education part of the program was laid out, I began making a website and Instagram. I reached out to principals and elementary school teachers in the district to try and recruit kids.”

Azhan’s environmental endeavors are not only inspirational for other environmentalists, but they also serve as a good learning point in life: creation requires rejection and mistakes to be made. Furthermore, Majidi and Azhan have taken, and continue to take, great strides in their environmental efforts. Hopefully, changes will be made in the future from their educational impacts.