STAFF EDITORIAL: Step toward a brighter future with green choices

With so many climate change effects in the world, sustainability should be on everyone’s radar. Each person has the power to do something to be more sustainable and we need to take advantage of those opportunities.

There are so many small actions we can take in our day to day lives to be more sustainable, like carpooling, turning off appliances and eating locally grown foods. These small changes add up, but none of that is new information.

We hear about turning off the lights, turning off the tap, or the door from childhood on, and many people are very conscious about doing all these small things.

Although these little steps do make a difference, it’s important to always be thinking about more actions to take to help the planet.

Just this past month hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit two separate parts of the U.S. leaving many without power, shelter, or food. Currently, updates on the path of Hurricane Maria dominate the news. Hurricanes don’t occur in Minnesota so it’s easy to think that what we do doesn’t affect them, but it does. A major contributor to climate change, according to NPR,  is greenhouse gasses because higher greenhouse gas emissions cause the hole in the ozone layer to get bigger, causing the earth to heat up. In short, storms are getting stronger because the ocean is warmer. Everyone contributes to the emission of greenhouse gases and there are steps we can all take in our everyday lives to lower our carbon footprint.

Our school is in the process of building a new building that will have many sustainable features and since it’s still being built, students are invited to voice their ideas on how to make the building more sustainable. People for Environmental Protection provided suggestions last year; students taking Environmental Science will come up with ways to make the school more sustainable for their final project this year, and that should be taken very seriously not only by the students doing the project, but also by the entire community.

With the new service requirement for all students, clubs and sports teams should think about sustainability when planning service projects.

Sustainability is an important cause because it affects everyone. What we do to reduce our carbon footprint will continue to affect the planet long after we’re gone.

It’s time to acknowledge our part in climate change and take every step we can to slow its effects at school, in Minnesota, and on the world.

This editorial was originally published in The Rubicon on September 26.