San Francisco Teen Collects 70 Pounds of Batteries to Safeguard the Bay Area's Marine Life
All Articles

San Francisco Teen Collects 70 Pounds of Batteries to Safeguard the Bay Area's Marine Life

The Climate Leaders Fellowship is a teen enrichment program that leads high school students in researching the effects of climate change in their own communities and finding ways to combat the problem locally.

The virtual volunteering program is offered in a collaboration between the Stanford University Deliberative Democracy Lab and the Rustic Pathways Foundation.

Read Chase’s impact story below!

Chase Loveless
San Francisco, California
Stuart Hall High School

My name is Chase Loveless and I am a junior at Stuart Hall High School located in San Francisco, California. When I heard about the Climate Leader Fellowship program, I was excited to explore further into my passion of sustainability.

San Francisco is surrounded by water, and the bay is an integral part of my community. The marine life that thrives in the bay is being exposed to toxic chemicals through illegally disposing of harmful products, most commonly, batteries. My project aimed to create awareness of the toxicity of batteries, and how negatively they impact the environment.

I brainstormed ideas of how I could contribute to protect the Bay Area, and such an everyday commodity like batteries would be a plausible yet challenging thing to help. I decided that I would hold a collection of used batteries throughout my K-12 community.

Once the collection ended, I properly disposed of the batteries at a local recycling company called Recology. I collected over 70 pounds of batteries that could’ve made way into the Pacific Ocean if not properly disposed of.

The biggest challenge I had to face was connecting with my community so that others would become aware of my project. I created a social media page where I posted vital information about the project, with updates and informational posts educating about the toxic chemicals found in batteries and the effects they have on the environment.

Furthermore, I posted another informational slide that was projected daily on our school’s television screens. This allowed more students to connect that aren’t present on social media. This helped me maximize the amount of batteries we were collecting from homes scattered around San Francisco. The batteries that were collected were a testament to how our community can come together to aid in stopping climate change.

The Climate Leader Fellowship program helped me realize that I can be a person to create change, even if the challenge seems daunting. I’m extremely proud of everyone coming together to dispose of this common household item. The 70 pounds of batteries we collected amounts to over 1,000 individual AA batteries. This is an immense amount of batteries that could have affected my environment, and I’m proud of how I used my tight-knit community to spark change.

About the Author

Kayla Anzalone

Kayla joined Rustic Pathways in 2020 as the Director of Special Projects. She has nearly a decade of experience in communications and marketing. At Rustic Pathways, Kayla is dedicated to helping high school students discover their passion for exploring the world through summer travel programs. She drives impactful initiatives to empower students through meaningful travel experiences worldwide. Based in San Jose, California, Kayla loves the outdoors, live music and travel.