Quick and Easy Tips for Saving Our Planet
By Eva Mandelbaum
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic chaos, the environment may not a top priority anymore. The raging fires in California, the hurricanes, and the copious amount of other natural disasters around the world have not taken a break due to the pandemic. Instead, they have gotten more intense, proving we are still facing the worst disaster of all: global warming. As young people look to the future, this problem may seem overwhelming; however, there are small changes we can make everyday that will help us lessen our carbon footprint.
Here are some ways you as a student can become more sustainable, even in the face of a pandemic:
1. One way to become more environmentally friendly even during a pandemic is by cutting the straps off your disposable masks before disposing of them. The straps from masks have been suffocating our ocean animals.
2. Recycle! It’s as simple as looking out for the bin labeled “commingled” when disposing of your garbage at the end of lunch.
3. Use less plastics. In general, reuse what you can or use reusable containers.
4. Bring a reusable water bottle to school. This is especially helpful since the water fountains are germy. This is a great way to become more cautious of germs and more environmentally friendly.
5. Although you should be sanitizing as much as you can to stop the spread of COVID-19, when using hand sanitizer, avoid ones with beads. They are really microplastics and are bad for the environment. The microplastics find their way into and pollute our oceans.
6. Try to use reusable masks when you can! Masks are scientifically proven to help stop the spread of COVID-19 (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html) but are disposable ones harming our environment by creating even more garbage? By using reusable masks as an alternative to disposable masks, you can make a difference, one less mask at a time.
7. Reuse old cleaning product bottles.
8. Eat less meat. According to greeneatz.com, “Livestock farming produces from 20% to 50% of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions.” So, to lower your carbon footprint choose the option better for you, and the environment, next time.
9. Carpool (with masks!) or ride a bike or walk places to decrease air pollution.
10. While spending extra time at home for distanced learning, try to use natural lighting/air when you can to save energy. Open your window for lighting and a source of cool air.
To conclude, times are extremely tough, but if we work together, one small change at a time, we can leave a more positive footprint on our planet.