Kacey Hammond is an 18 year-old student from Torbay, NL. This summer, Kacey is the Team Leader with the Town of Torbay Conservation Corps NL Green Team. Throughout high school, Kacey has worked with many climate-focused organizations, such as Fridays For Future, Ducks Unlimited, and Stewardship Association of Municipalities. She also helped to found her school’s environmental club in 2019. This fall, she’s heading to Carleton University in Ottawa to start her degree in Environmental Sciences with a concentration in sustainability and conservation.
What is Friday for Futures? What is your role with the organization?
I first started volunteering with Fridays for Future St. John’s as an organizer, but earlier this year I was asked to join the Executive Board as a head organizer. Through Fridays for Future, I’ve had a hand in organizing protests, poster making sessions, clean ups and more. I also act as the unofficial graphic designer of the team so I’m responsible for a lot of the posters and marketing material for our social media and events.
How did you become interested in environmentalism?
I first became interested in environmentalism seriously when I attended my first Fridays for Future strike right here in St. John’s, NL. I couldn’t believe the passion people had for the cause and the more I learned the more I was interested. The movement, created by Greta Thurnberg, is incredibly powerful and it’s amazing to see how just one young woman has created wide-spread change. After that day, I started doing my own research and dedicating myself to conservation where I could.
“I think that the most important job we have as global citizens is to be educated and make ourselves aware of the challenges we are facing in the way of climate change and global warming.“-Kacey Hammond
What is your project with the Green Team this summer?
I am working in my community [Town of Torbay, NL] with the Green Team to facilitate a community garden at the newly built Commons Community Center. The beds introduced this summer will be accessible and built with the community in mind and in collaboration with the food bank. It is a super amazing project and I think it will really add a lot to the community in the coming years.
As a young person, what would you like to communicate to other generations about the environment?
I think that the most important job we have as global citizens is to be educated and make ourselves aware of the challenges we are facing in the way of climate change and global warming. Climate change as a whole is a huge problem and it’s important now to do everything we can, as individuals, to prevent the irreversible effects of climate change.
What would you like to say to other people in your generation?
I would say that it’s important we don’t underestimate the influence we have as teens. We are not only the future of these generations, we also have the ability to make real change right now. I am a firm believer that it’s never too late or too early to start learning about environmentalism. That is a big part of why I volunteer to go to different groups and events like the Climate Collective’s Virtual Youth Climate Summit to educate individuals about climate change. In climate education, things can often get bent and twisted into half truths because of the politics involved. It’s important to me that people are given the facts not the politics. It’s my hope that from these events other people will find the same motivation I did attending my first environmental awareness event.
What is your session with the Youth Climate Summit? What will you be talking about?
The Youth Climate Summit is really exciting opportunity for Fridays For Future St. John’s. We are eager to present to a diverse crowd of youth. Our presentation includes; what it means to be a climate activist; some general information about climate activism; and other organizations doing climate-oriented work. In this session, we hope to expand on not only what climate change is, but why it should matter to you. It is always our hope that our educational events light a fire inside people so they can better understand where our movement comes from and the motivations behind our actions. The presentation will also include some insider information we’ve learned along the way that we hope can help anyone interested in climate change.
Do you have any environmental goals for the future? Are you interested in doing a certain kind of work, or educating others?
I think that for the rest of my life I will find passion in teaching others about the planet and in return others teaching me. My ambition for the future is to get into sustainable architecture and infrastructure. My passion has always been for architecture as it incorporated both my creative and mathematical sides. In recent years I’ve certainly seen the value and importance climate change has to play in every career, and not just sustainability-based industries. As the world begins to change I want to help our cities and towns adapt to what is too late to change.
How do you think Newfoundlanders and Labradradorians can help take care of the environment?
I think there is so much we can do as individuals. Not only cutting back on waste, but making sure to advocate for jurisdictions that protect the environment. There are so many amazing organizations locally in need of people and funding. Coming out to strikes, events, clean ups and announcements can help these organizations do the work they need to be doing. Protecting the environment is a job for everyone. Helping the planet doesn’t always look like giving up meat, to-go coffee, or plastic straws. It can also look like support and education. In our future, there is just as much for us to gain as there is for us to lose.