Marieka vs. Climate Change

Marieka Staheli shares her passion and action towards climate change


First Shoreline Climate Strike in 2019. Courtesy of Marieka Staheli

by Finley Stroh, Associate Editor

Sophomore Marieka Staheli is in the Shorewood wind ensemble, jazz band and also is on the girls soccer team.

She also happens to be a climate change activist in our community. From taking action in her own life by making sustainable choices, to organizing both the 2019 and 2021 Shoreline Climate Strikes, Staheli continues to make strides in her fight against climate change and encourages others to join the fight.

“The 2016 fires that brought smoke to Shoreline awakened me to the reality of climate change…Quite selfishly, it wasn’t until the effects hit my home and my community that I woke up and decided to help fight it,” Staheli said. 

This prompted Staheli to join the Resource Conservation Advisory Committee for the Shoreline School District focused on making updates to the environment-related policies where she learned about the large and detailed way of creating a plan. 

Inspired by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s “Fridays for Future” movement among others, Staheli organized two strikes over the past two years along with other efforts to combat climate change. She planned the Sept. 20, 2019 “Shoreline Shore-to-Shore Climate Strike” as well as the 2021 strike where they walked with signs and sang rally chants from Lake Washington to Puget Sound fighting for climate change along with more than 100 people from Shoreline.

Despite the uncertainty and struggles these endeavors might come with, Staheli had confidence in her cause. “I had faith that some people would show up and that this would catch the attention of city officials, school board members, parents, pedestrians, drivers… really anybody,” she said. 

Through big and small changes, Staheli has also implemented the fight against climate in her own everyday life by choosing to take sustainable actions.

Purchasing clothes second hand, buying from sustainable brands, avoiding dairy and meat, recycling, taking shorter showers, and carpooling can all cut down on your carbon footprint.

“It can be difficult to cut your carbon footprint as a teenager, but it’s definitely possible so don’t think you can’t. That said, I’ve realized that you are able to make a bigger impact as you become older,” she said. 

Staheli also emphasizes the power of voting as the most important thing you can do to combat climate change.

She said students can continue to educate themselves and get involved in organizations to fight climate change.

For further education, Staheli recommends viewing reliable sources such as the New York Times and IPCC (International Panel of Climate Change) and documentaries like Al Gore’s, “An Inconvenient Truth,” and “An Inconvenient Sequel,” TED talks, and podcasts.

She also recommends getting involved in youth organizations such as Zero Hour, Sunrise Movement, and Fridays for Future.

The second Shoreline Climate Strike organized by Marieka Staheli this past year.

Climate change is a problem we all experience, but is it a problem we all actively fight against? Staheli encourages her peers to join her in fighting against climate change.

She says: “I would say to Shorewood students that you should keep showing up, continue to get educated about climate change. This isn’t a problem that most people want to dedicate their lives to, but it is something that every person can help combat.”