Chicago students release video asking leaders to protect the environment

Chicago students who are members of the National Resources Defense Council Youth Corps released a video on social media Friday imploring the nation’s leaders to pass more effective environmental laws.

The video—“Why?: Questions from the Leaders of Tomorrow”—was released on YouTube, FaceBook and Instagram on Friday; and features local high school students asking their elected leaders to create public policy that protects natural resources. The video touches on environmental issues both local and international.

“Why can we not find a more effective solution to the Asian carp problem plaguing the Great Lakes region? The carp continue to decimate native fish populations and continues to destroy their habitats,” one student asks in the seven-minute video.

Another student asks, “Why can’t we ban sales of products containing microbeads and other non-biodegradable exfoliants? Why do I need particles of plastic in my toothpaste, particles of plastic that end up in the Great Lakes or the ocean? These toxins harm marine life, including the fish we eat.”

The NRDC Youth Corps was founded in 2012 by John Canfield Jr., a senior at Sewanee University of the South in Tennessee, and includes students from the Latin School of Chicago, New Trier, North Shore Country Day School, Lake Forest Academy and other area high schools.

“It’s been exciting to collaborate with this diverse group of students who are passionate about protecting the earth,” Morgan Mansur, chair of the NRDC Youth Corps at the Latin School of Chicago, said in a statement from the group.

“I’m thrilled with the international reach of this effort because local environmental problems are inevitably global problems, too,” Mansur said.