The Big Sandy Chapter for the Kentuckians for the Commonwealth hosted a “Climate Strike” rally in Prestonsburg on Friday.
The event coincided with a national event held to raise awareness about climate change. About two dozen participants carried signs and chanted things like, “We’re going to strike because the water is rising. We’re going to strike because our people are dying.”
“Water is life and we can live as long as there is clean water and as long as the planet is healthy,” said Tiffany Pyette, communications coordinator for the Big Sandy chapter. “We have to have a future.”
She said she hopes the event raises awareness about things people can do to stop climate change.
“Climate change is happening ... We only have one planet and there’s only one chance to fix it,” she said.
She emphasized the way climate change impacts Kentucky, reporting that heat waves and droughts are predicted to increase in this state.
“This is affecting our state and this is affecting things that will happen here. It’s not just some far-away iceberg thing,” Pyette said.
An indigenous person, she led the group in an Algonquin water song at River Park in Prestonsburg. The song celebrates water as the “life’s blood of the earth.” At the park, participants talked about things they know and are yet to learn about climate change and they discussed things they can do to help.
Pyette said simple life changes, like buying fewer things made of plastic and switching to LED lighting can make a difference.
“Recycling is a good thing, but people tend to think that’s it,” she said. “But it’s also just reducing the amount of trash you create, picking what you buy better, using less plastic packaging. Simple things do make a difference and if we’re all doing a little bit, then it will make a bigger impact.”
She said becoming more energy efficient reduced her electricity bill.
“More efficiency means cheaper bills and people tend to forget that,” she said. “It’s not just like a weird liberal thing. It’ll help your bill.”
The chapter also hosted a workshop about climate change at St. James Episcopal Church on Tuesday.
For more information about the group and its efforts, visit the chapter on Facebook.