From beachfronts to government offices, grass roots environmental activism is alive and well among young people on Martha’s Vineyard.

In the ongoing push to get plastics out of the Island waste stream, a group of Island middle schoolers are now taking their cause to ban plastic bottles to the down-Island towns this year. The effort was successful last year in the three up-Island towns. And while the plastic bottle ban is likely to face an uphill battle in the larger, more commercial down-Island towns, the tenacity and civic awareness demonstrated by these young students is impressive beyond any single ballot initiative. In a short period of time they have accomplished much; Plastic-Free MV is now a household name on the Vineyard — no branding experts involved.

Meanwhile, a group of high schoolers have been spending their Sunday mornings this winter picking up trash from Island streets and beaches.

As the global problems of climate change weigh heavily and feel overwhelming at times, their simple act of community service and environmental stewardship should serve as an inspiration for all of us. Here are these young Islanders who might otherwise be at home sleeping late, out early picking up bags of trash.

It’s shocking to see how much trash there is, but it spurs more thinking about the many other things that can be done close to home to make a difference.

Hurray for this young generation, who remind us we are all stewards of our fragile Island environment.