Co-written by Kim Teplitzky of the Sierra Student Coalition.

Yesterday, despite some fierce weather in our nation’s capital, members of the Sierra Student Coalition hung bright, colorful pinwheels on Capitol Hill and in front of the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters. (See more photos here)

The pinwheels came from thousands of college students across the U.S., all asking for clean energy and thanking EPA for its hard work over 40 years (Happy birthday, EPA!).

College students made the pinwheels at more than 50 campus events that students held over the past month to show their demand for clean energy. Many set up pinwheels on their campuses before shipping the pinwheels off to the nation’s capitol for the event yesterday. Their voices reverberated all the way to Washington, DC.

“The pinwheels were created by [Missouri University] students out of recycled paper as a symbol of our generation’s desire for a clean energy future,” said Melissa Vatterott, a spokeswoman for Coal Free Mizzou. “The pinwheel idea is used to symbolize clean energy sources, such as wind power.”

 “The windmill is kind of the easiest representation of clean energy,” said Eric Price, a leader of Michigan State University Beyond Coal. “Five hundred of these pinwheels will…push for what we want to do – push for clean energy.”

The Sierra Student Coalition is working on our nation’s campuses to retire the fleet of more than 60 campus-based coal plants and move all our schools off coal to 100 percent clean energy solutions. SSC members used Wednesday’s event in DC to show that they are leading the way – and to ask our nation’s leaders to follow.

Go here to see video of the DC event.

Today’s college students are leaders for clean energy – we hope officials in Washington, DC, and around the U.S. heed the call.