Srishti Mathur, Campus Life Editor

Ames High school is filled to the brim with various clubs, from SACRE to Fiber Club. Amongst the array of clubs lies CAUSE. CAUSE stands for Citizens Actualizing and Understanding Sustainable Environments. Led by senior Isak Werner Anderson and junior Lucas Bleyle, the club is working towards many different ways to lead more environmentally sustainable lives and take action against the growing issue of climate change.

Every Wednesday, the group convenes in Mr. Reichert’s room to discuss activities the group is involved in.

Every month, the club sets a goal for its members to work towards. Last month, members worked to log their trash to see the amount that was being wasted and to come up with various ways to eliminate unnecessary wastage. This month, the group is taking advantage of the warmer weather and is working to explore more environmentally friendly modes of transportation, such as walking or biking to places.

CAUSE also branches out of the bubble of their club, working to implement various changes in the school. Currently, they are planning on establishing composting in the cafeteria, with a trial run being done in Mr. Reichert’s room. The club also hopes to start holding documentary nights at the school to highlight important ecological issues.

Beyond the school, CAUSE is teaming up with local forester Luke Gran to restore a natural forest while also engaging elementary children and educating them on restoration. Members are also working with Erwin Klaas, an animal ecology professor at Iowa State, to advocate for local environmental action to the Ames city council.  

CAUSE’s largest project however, lies in the realm of technology. A smaller group, including app-making veteran junior Adam Rice, spend their Wednesday mornings toiling away to create a carpooling app. The app, cleverly named “RidePod,” would allow passengers to get rides for anything, from the most mundane of tasks to larger community events. With it’s dual-screen design, people could choose to either get a ride or give a ride, allowing flexibility and getting cars off the road. The goal is to make it easier for students to access rides, while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions.

“The danger of climate change can’t be overstated, but unfortunately, that danger is difficult to grasp because a place like Ames, Iowa thus far is relatively untouched by the effects of climate change that we, as students, have been taught about and told to recognize.” Says junior, Aidan Diggins-Kennedy. “The neat thing about CAUSE is that by actively involving students in the fight to educate others and participate in meaningful community projects, it makes the issue of climate change more personal, and because of that, we’re more likely to do something about it.”

According to CAUSE member Chiara Travesset, “CAUSE cannot change the entire world, but we can take action locally.” The club recognizes that climate change is an overwhelming issue that cannot be solved overnight, but that does not deter its members. Instead, CAUSE hopes to bring about small, local changes to begin the process of changing environmental policy and thought processes on a larger scale.”