Making a positive impact on the environment might seem out of reach for most teenagers, but there are many ways to help.
In one Mid-Pacific class, AP Environmental Science, understanding the environment is the forefront of what happens in class.
“The amount of trash that is accumulating is just insane because there’s the Pacific garbage patch and so many landfills that are overflowing with garbage,” said 12th grader Natalia Mondi, who’s a student in the class.
People are now seeing the environmental consequences of past actions that were done incorrectly, said Environmental Science teacher Dr. Mindy McDermott.
“We weren’t really planning effectively on what would happen down the road,” said McDermott.
Being environmentally friendly can be a struggle when it comes to understanding what’s helpful and hurtful for the earth.
“People throw whatever in the recycling bin but that’s not necessarily good either. You have to really make sure that you check what you recycle and make sure that it is recyclable,” said 11th grader Kupai Marx.
Here are the top ways students can save the planet, according to McDermott and her students:
Recycle: One of the easiest methods to help the environment; this is an alternative to dumping all of your waste into one trash can. Recycling can conserve natural resources and save energy. When recycling plastic or other materials, make sure to check the symbols on the bottom of containers/bottles because it will determine if that object can be accepted by your local recycling program.
Compost: By using food scraps and yard waste, composting can reduce the amount of trash you send to landfills. It consists of three key materials, browns (branches, dead leaves), greens (vegetable/fruit scraps, coffee grounds) and water.
Volunteer: Helping with beach cleanups or picking up trash are activities that can be enjoyable and you can do them with friends and family. Preventing potentially harmful rubbish from entering animal’s environments can save many of their lives.
Use Metal Straws: These are portable and usually always come with a cleaning brush. Metal straws are reusable and an alternative to plastic straws, which are a one-time use object.
It may seem challenging to help the Earth, but taking one small step at a time can lead into a tremendous impact.
“I try to teach the students to really be thinking about what we’re doing today and how that’s going to affect us not only 25 years down the road, but 50 years,” said McDermott.