Students can Help the Rapid Decline of the Environment


People can enjoy a beautiful field of flowers throughout the community. Photo by Emily Ruith

Emily Ruith, Staff Writer

The world’s once pristine condition is rapidly decreasing, and it’s hard to know what students can do to help.

“I think the better solution is that just making every day decisions can make a difference,” said Michelle Howard, Freedom High School’s environmental club sponsor.

The problems with the environment are so intense: glaciers are shrinking, plant and animal ranges have shifted, scientists are predicting more intense heat waves, and there is an increase in temperature by 10 degrees. Howard believes the solution is simple. People could do simple day to day things like turning off the lights or the water when they are brushing their teeth. Other things Howard does are using filtered water when given the opportunity as well as eating locally sourced food, which reduces ones carbon footprint significantly.

“Just taking small, actionable steps makes a huge difference, and the club itself is really geared towards helping people see that those small things matter more,” Howard said. 

Freedom as a school can also make a difference.

“We need to have an honest recycling system and sort of educate people about what recycling is,” Howard said.

So many people have a very vague definition of what can be recycled which ends up in only about 9% of plastic being recycled. So what can be recycled? For starters, clean plastics papers, and cans can be recycled, so make sure to rinse them out.

Then there’s the more big picture and harder to do ideas like making the transition to solar. There’s also refrigerants. Though it’s not talked about enough, things like air conditioning in refrigerators and aerosol sprays are some of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases in the world. So making refrigerators more eco-friendly could do wonders.

Tons of things are destroying the earth, but there are numerous things that students, the school, and community can do.