Climate change has been a growing concern since roughly the 1850s. Ever since then, the Earth has become hotter by approximately two degrees. This change may not sound major, but it has had lasting impacts on the Earth. One Google search can tell you that this change has caused more severe storms, drought, loss of species, more health risks and an overall hotter temperature. It may seem that we as students can’t do much if anything to help or at the very least mitigate the damage inflicted by climate change. However, we can take measures to slow down and potentially stop climate change in our daily lives. These measures entail using our voices and making small changes to our daily lives.
As a student, one of the most powerful weapons in our arsenal is our voices. According to an interviewee for New York Times we can’t change others’ actions, but we can “…use our voices to get people to open their eyes and look around.” (NYTimes) Knowing that we have our voice and freedom of speech, we can spread the word to those around us to make better choices for the Earth. This could influence others to opt for an electric vehicle instead of a gas-powered variant or choose to add solar panels to their home to produce more sustainable energy. Once we open their eyes, they could help to spread the word to those they know and increase awareness for this issue. Additionally, those of us who can vote could go a step further and vote for more pro-environmental politicians. Through voting for these politicians, we can possibly look further into nuclear energy, which NYTimes states “…is the most sustainable and effective option that we currently have.” (NYTimes) They could also fund more sustainable technology and infrastructure, such as having more eco-friendly transportation. By using our voices both literally and in the form of voting we can take one small step towards ending climate change.
The second thing we can do to mitigate climate change is make a few tweaks to our daily lives. Some of us may opt to drive as our main mode of transportation. However, according to Oxford Scholastica Academy we should be “…walking, biking, or using public transport whenever possible, as these options significantly reduce your carbon footprint.” (Oxford Scholastica Academy) Even choosing to carpool rather than having a few individual drivers would help reduce our carbon footprint significantly. Further, we can aim to conserve energy and water wherever possible. This can include unplugging electronics when not in use, using energy-efficient appliances, taking shorter showers, and turning off the water while brushing your teeth. Small habits like these could become muscle-memory in no time, allowing us to help the Earth without thinking about it. Lastly, we can adopt a green diet as “The meat and dairy industries contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions.” (Oxford Scholastica Academy) We can make the choice to possibly not have meat/dairy for as little as once a week or opting for a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle to reduce our carbon footprint on the Earth. These are some of the choices we can make as students to help mitigate climate change.
Overall, climate change is a rising concern around the world, and it may seem overwhelming. However, even as students we can help towards making the changes we want to see for the Earth. By utilizing our voices and making changes to our daily lives, we can bring the Earth one step closer to healing from the damage it suffered for over a decade. We should embrace our responsibility for the Earth and help tackle one of the biggest challenges it’s currently facing.
Photo Credit: Claire Merchlinsky https://clairemerchlinsky.com/
Parker, Sophie. “How to Mitigate Climate Change as a Student.” Oxford Summer School 2024 | Oxford Scholastica Academy, 9 May 2023, https://www.oxfordscholastica.com/blog/what-students-need-to-know-about-climate-change/#5_ways_to_mitigate_climate_change_as_a_student
The Learning Network. “What Teenagers Are Saying About Their Role in Fighting Climate Change.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 12 Oct. 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/12/learning/what-teenagers-are-saying-about-their-role-in-fighting-climate-change.html