#BecauseOfYouth Spotlight: Alexa Vidaurre

#BecauseOfYouth Spotlight: Alexa Vidaurre

The #BecauseOfYouth Spotlight series highlights young environmentalists in MCE’s service area who are leading the fight against climate change.

Alexa Vidaurre is an East Bay youth activist with Earth Team. After seeing Earth Team’s inspiring work, Alexa knew she needed to be involved with individuals who prioritized education and field experience. Since joining Earth Team, she has worked to remove pollutants in her community through various cleanups and by restoring the natural state of her community by removing invasive species in waterbeds. Her vision of a cleaner future includes her own idea of small solar panels to be placed on the rear of motorized vehicles to stop the dependency on gas.

What type of projects or initiatives have you worked on in your community?

I am proud of my contribution to the Wildcat Creek Restoration Project that runs through part of the East Bay. We made several cleanups, gathered many volunteers to assist in its restoration, and planted native plants and removed invasive species from the site. The creek’s waterbed showed signs of inhabitation from homeless individuals, who, unfortunately, could not take anything with them, and in some cases, left behind a lot of litter in our creek.

One of our missions was to replace pollutants with native species to help the waterbed maintain its structure. I’m very passionate about this restoration because I have lived in the area my entire life. Being able to contribute to the area’s restoration and witness the reversal of damage is very meaningful to me.

Why did you decide to join your organization/club and begin working on community engagement efforts?

I decided that Earth Team was for me when I learned that I would be collaborating with individuals who prioritized education and fieldwork. The coordinators were dedicated and excited to teach the interns about the environment and the community.

Something else that helped me believe that I should be on Earth Team was the positive environmental impact in the East Bay. The connection and community effort to improve the environment in our area is inspiring.

What are some ideas you have to make our world greener and cleaner?

I love developing ideas with peers to help make the earth greener. One of my favorite ideas was an environmental project that I worked on with Earth Team and my science teacher. We developed a prototype for solar cells that could be attached to small vehicles, such as electric bikes and mopeds.

We envisioned adapting solar panels, which are typically used on home roofs, to a minimal design that can be attached to the rear end of a small vehicle. During the day, the vehicle absorbs energy and converts it into spare fuel for the car. In the early design stages, it would not be enough to fully power the motorized vehicle, but it could serve as a short-term backup source of fuel when gas is unavailable.

What is your favorite memory at your organization/club?

My favorite memory of this organization was being in the pouring rain planting manzanita trees at the creek in my home city. Even though it began to pour, the interns were determined to finish the project. I planted about four trees that day, but it was exciting and memorable to be out there with like-minded students who wanted to be engines of change. Being an Earth Team intern helped me find a community of people who consider Earth just as important as I do.

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