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First-Time Voter Akaash Krishnan Wants Action On Climate Change

Local high school students involved with the Nevada Youth Climate Strike recently held an event in Reno, where they taught people how to recycle and transform old clothes. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck profiles the founder of this group, who will be a first time voter in the 2020 election.

White jeans with black flowers painted on them.
Credit Lucia Starbuck
Akaash Krishnan uses a stencil to paint black flowers on a pair of jeans.

Have you ever had a shirt that you used to love but it’s worn out or damaged now? Student climate activists held an event at the Patagonia Outlet downtown, where people could bring in old clothing and upcycle it, or make it new again.

“So I have a pair of white jeans here, that I've been told are not cute. So, I am using a flower stensul to add some black decals and stuff to them. Then they're going to be the talk of the town,” 17-year-old Akaash Krishnan said.

Krishnan led the event for about a dozen community members to teach them about climate conscious consumerism, which is the idea that what you choose to buy has a political impact.

“When we buy something, that money acts as, almost like, a vote for the company, a vote for its policies. Similarly, conscious consumerism entails supporting the companies that are doing a good job,” Krishnan said.

A man pants on a pair of pants.
Credit Lucia Starbuck
Akaash Krishnan paints more designs on his pants, including a red moon and stars.

Krishnan is the executive director of the Nevada Youth Climate Strike, a group of young people who want to see federal policy passed in relation to the environment and climate change. He says the young people around him are scared for the future.

“Rather than using that fear to, you know, sit in a corner or binge watch Netflix out of sadness, I see a lot of us taking action. I tend to find that everyone accepts the climate crisis. Gen Z knows it's real and we're scared for our futures. We think about things like, is it ethical to have children, you know?,” Krishnan said. 

Krishnan is a senior at Davidson Academy and he’s been knocking on doors for Democratic presidential candidate and current senator Elizabeth Warren. He’s looking forward to taking a political science class at the University of Nevada, Reno next semester, which will be focused on different climate policies to advocate for. In the future he would like to go into public service.

Lucia Starbuck is an award-winning journalist covering politics, focusing on democracy and solutions for KUNR Public Radio. Her goal is to provide helpful and informative coverage for everyday Nevadans.
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