Ruby Schroeder: Student Environmentalist Stands Up to Climate Change


Jolie Olson

Senior Ruby Schroeder is a playwright, actor, scientist and climate activist.

Much like Swedish environmental activist Great Thunberg, students across the world are speaking out on the prominent issue of climate change. In our small Minnesota town, one voice stands out among the rest.

Senior Ruby Schroeder, founder of the Facebook group, The Go Green Club, has taken her firm position in the fight against climate change. Not only did she attend an intense climate strike at the state capitol in St. Paul in September, but she has also used her passion for theater and playwriting to get her voice heard.

“Watching her grow in her artform of theatre has been inspiring. She’s taken on this role as a playwright and has been exploring that in different ways. She wrote some plays  about climate change and produced them on Earth Day last year,” said Glenn Morehouse Olson, St. Francis High School’s theater director. “What she understands about theater as an art form is that it isn’t all fun and games, but it is a way to get people talking about issues.” 

Aside from being a climate activist and talented playwright, Schroeder is also a student scientist. This past summer she had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica to perform a study centered around the ants of the ecosystem.

“My experiment was about leaf cutter ants’ preferences on the pH levels in the leaves they collect. They collect the leaves and feed it to the fungus that they grow, and then they eat the fungus.” said Schroeder. “Unfortunately it was only a 10-day venture, but it was an incredible experience.” 

With her passion for science and fighting climate change, Schroeder is pushing for the government and the people of the United States to help combat the issue at hand.

“The climate strike was a big gathering of mostly young people to protest climate change, to advocate for regulations and rules to prevent more CO2 and other carbon equivalents to go into the air,” said Schroeder. “It was students protesting for their future because we threatened by this impending doom. This was us standing up to say no.”

She believes that one of the most important things we can do is to educate ourselves and those around us about what is happening to our planet.

“There are a bunch of organizations that you can join to be part of a greater community of people like Youth Climate Strike  and MN350,” she said.

She thinks that big corporations and politicians need to be held accountable for their contributions to climate change.

“We’ll be watching you…” said Great Thunberg at the New York Climate Action Summit.

Along with world governments, Schroeder wants individuals to take responsibility for their own actions.

“So you know what is effecting it and how you can reduce your own carbon footprint,” she said. “That always makes a difference.”

*Senior photos of Ruby by Jolie Morehouse Olson photography