What You Can do to Help Better the Environment

What+You+Can+do+to+Help+Better+the+Environment

With many extreme natural phenomenons happening this year around the world, concerns around climate change increase. As people worry about the emissions from industries and its practices there are things that people can change in their routines to benefit the environment. 

Changing the American diet is a great start. 

“So the American diet has a lot of meat and processed food and that’s so bad,” junior Hannah Jensen-Sizelove said. “For one meat production needs a lot of farmland to keep livestock on, this contributes some to deforestation. It also increases waste and other bad stuff in the rivers and water. Processed foods require the use of lots of chemicals that can also be damaging. It should change. We can reduce how much meat we eat and we can eat more organic foods.’’

It’s not only the diet that causes problems. The excessive use of cars creates emissions.

‘’[The use of cars] somewhat goes hand in hand with how large the city and towns are structured,” 9th and 10th English teacher Ashley Carpenter said. “Everything is so spread out so we have to drive everywhere, but there are times when going to eat we choose to drive instead of biking. I think biking or walking is beneficial for people.’’ 

Sometimes these changes can benefit not only the environment but us too.

‘’You can have bags when going to the grocery store so I bring in insulated shopping bags and do not use the plastic bags that are supplied there,” Carpenter said. ‘’Plus I found out that it helps because you can fit more things into those bags and do not have to make multiple trips anyway.’’

Things that seem simple and that don’t really matter can have a big impact

‘’Small changes like picking up trash, recycling, turning off the lights, carpooling and avoiding single use plastics can make a small difference too,” Jensen-Sizelove said. ‘’Some environmentally friendly things I do are compost, buy second-hand, [and] pick up trash whenever I go.”

A practice that some may already do such as recycling should be done the right way in order to help.

‘’A thing that individuals can do is to participate in recycling,” Carpenter said. “That’s something really big but you have to be sure that you recycle the right materials because some people just throw things into the recycling bin and do not sort them or clean them. “Before recycling you have to make sure that things do not have grease on them like pizza boxes because when it gets to the recycling center it turns into a slurry and it is not really helpful.”

But all these things can only have a small impact on the environment and it is necessary for bigger changes to happen

  “Small changes can help but only in small amounts,” Jensen-Sizelove said. “The biggest change needs to come from energy production and big companies though.”

The largest impact that people have isn’t so much through people’s lives but through the

government.

‘’To a certain extent there are things that individuals can do but for the most part individuals can hold their local, state or federal government accountable for how they are treating the environment,” Carpenter said.”Pushing for better policies and laws. On the large scale that is going to have the biggest impact.’’