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  • Elseigh Callstron, reporter

Being Mindful of the Environment During Unprecedented Times

Note: This story includes editorial content.

With so many problems in the world it is difficult to keep up with them all. Climate change, however, is a problem that influences the well-being of everything on this planet, even during a pandemic. It may have appeared that things were bettering climate-wise during the lockdown, but now it appears that the opposite may be true.

From wildfires suffocating the west coast, to the disposable masks that can be seen polluting the sidewalks of our cities, so much must be changed in order to have improvement. We may not have all the power we need to change the way our world works, but if we start one small step at a time then more than imaginable can be accomplished.

By starting small, we can only hope that the people who hold political power in the world will finally acknowledge the life-threatening problem climate change actually is and begin to take action. We can do as much as we can, but ultimately the only way we can reverse the negative damage caused by climate change is by our political leaders taking a step forward and addressing the issue.

A viable option for reducing waste, hence helping out the environment by reducing pollution, is to use a cloth mask. Cloth masks can be found at many stores, including local shops like Bella Bonita Designs or Wicked Stitch. Helping out local stores is also a good practice in general.

Disposable masks are also a viable option and should definitely be used if cloth masks aren’t available. One should keep in mind that the straps of these masks can harm wildlife, like being bound to birds feet and disabling them. Once you are done with your disposable mask, which authorities recommend after three uses at most, be sure to cut the straps.

With students staying home for school, a lot of lights are being left on throughout the day. By only leaving on absolutely necessary lights you can help limit electricity usage which can save both electricity and money. For great lighting, open your curtains and let the sun in!

Be sure to be mindful of your purchases, including school supplies. With school being remote for at least the first nine weeks, there is little need to purchase new supplies. Go find that old notebook you have and fill it completely before getting a new one.

Continue to wash your hands and keep in mind that twenty seconds is all that is needed, per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. When drinking water use a cup or reusable bottle, which should be especially easy to do while at home.

Anne Marie Bonneau, a zero waste chef living in California, once said, “We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” A significant difference can be made if everyone takes some minuscule step to help out the planet.

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