NEWSOpinionStudent Life

Attacking a Global Issue: Our Environment

Have you ever thought about your contribution to the environment? You might see forest fires or pollution on Instagram posts but have you ever really thought about how it affects us? The fires in Australia and California have made huge headlines and have become worrisome for families. Massive heatwaves and the rising of sea levels have destroyed people’s homes. This year has led many countries and individuals to understand and take action against climate change. Only we can change the direction of our climate and see positive results soon. All it takes is you to recognize, educate, and act!


The Human Impact on the environment is the number one cause of our climate change. Our heated and air-conditioned homes, gas run cars, and phones are all luxuries that we become dependent on. Plastic, a significant item destroying our planet also leads to larger issues such as deforestation, ocean pollution, and overfishing. 


Deforestation was created by humans to make space our “needs” such as apartment buildings and factories. Millions of trees are cut and burnt down daily! Animals who call forests their home, no longer have somewhere to go. Imagine someone said we need to tear down your house to build an apartment complex for more people; animals are experiencing this. Trees are the number one source of oxygen for organisms on the planet and less trees limit this. Deforestation is a subject that needs to be recognized. Check out this link to buy handcrafted bracelets that plant trees and support animals for every purchase!  


Using cars and factories are emitting carbon dioxide which becomes trapped in our atmosphere causing the climate to change. Some call this the greenhouse effect and discovered this is the cause of heated temperatures. Greenhouse gasses are only in our atmosphere for a few days but so much is created and released so it has a long-term effect. Many have released this increase in temperature over the last few years. “The planet just had its hottest November on record, and 2020 may end up beating 2016 for the ignominious title of the warmest calendar year.” (Andrew Freedman: Washington Post). Ice melting in the Arctic causes sea levels to rise and polar bears are in great danger. Polar bears and other species have practiced cannibalism because there are no more food sources out there. Furthermore, production of food will be a struggle with unbalanced temperatures. Life will be drastically different if we continue to do this to our ONLY planet. 


Pollution is something simple but so complicated for many. When you throw a piece of garbage on the street, where do you think it goes? To be honest we do not know. All we did was throw a piece of garbage. That ONE piece of garbage might end up in the Hudson River or in a fish’s body. Pollution is everywhere. Billions of people do not have access to clean water because of our doing. Furthermore, money is limited to cleaning the water. Pollution has taken over the ocean, beaches, streets, and our air. Many have come to believe that the pandemic has improved our air quality. Without air traveling and people leaving homes, our climate has seen changes in a short amount of time. Not only our land and streets; many have switched to sustainable living.


Using plastic and one-time use items is unreasonable when there are so many reusable items that save money. The number one item is straws. They might have been a joke to the internet but in reality, using metal, bamboo, or harder plastic straws can be so beneficial. One time use products take years to break down; the product useless. There are so many companies that take the thrown out garbage to make clothing and sneakers. Buying a case of Poland spring water multiple times a month can become pricey. Alidz Karakachian, a 9th grader at LHS, stated, “I convinced my family to purchase less one time use products. We have actually saved money and they make things more convenient on a daily basis. There is no question everyone should invest in sustainable products. You save money and help the environment. It’s a win win.”(Alidz Karakachian, 9th grade). Why not buy a nice water bottle that will keep drinks hot/cold that you will use forever? There is no justification to not try living sustainably. Click Here to look at some eco-friendly products. 


As you can see, humanity is destroying the world we live in. Whether it is positive or negative change, we are the only ones who decide where we live and our surroundings. President Joe Biden has promised the country an eco-friendly economy by the time he ends his presidential term in 2024. Changing our climate and environment does not happen overnight. Reusing items and educating is the best way to contribute. We must address the environmental issues and restore mother nature.