Tips for a Better Environment


Daniela De Nóbrega, Staff Writer

Here in 2019 many already know that something is going on with the environment, but, in case you missed it, here are some facts about climate change that may get you thinking about the world around us:

  • Scientists estimate that by 2048, oceans will probably be void of fish.
  • Around 70% of insects have disappeared over the last 30 years.
  • The number of fires in the Amazon has climbed to 156,000 -the highest number since 2010-. 
  • Summers and winters continue to get warmer and warmer each year. 

Although this may come across as irrelevant information, if you are in high school right now you’ll probably be in your mid-40s by the time there’s no more fish in our oceans (and no more sushi either). So, even if people refuse to think about it, the issue of climate change is more relevant to our generation than what we would like to accept. Therefore, we have a responsibility to make a difference and try to repair the damage that has been done to our planet.

As students, we waste a lot of resources in our daily lives: we use tons of paper, buy unneeded new clothes, use plastic water bottles to keep our bodies hydrated after working out, and the list just goes on and on. So, how can we as students help the environment, without drastically changing the way we live? Here are a few ideas:

Print as Little as Necessary

Yes, we all use lined paper and we all have to print things for school every week, if not every day; but we could definitely try to reduce the amount of paper we use. If your teachers allow it, start printing on both sides of a paper (that way you won’t kill half the trees in Africa by printing out your English essay). If you like to use notebooks, look around for ones from last year and reuse them! Don’t throw them away and don’t buy new ones if you can still use the ones from the years before. And if you really don’t want to use them anymore, ask someone if they would like to have them. Finally, if you have to throw some papers away, don’t forget to put them in the recyclable bin. 

Use Reusable Water Containers

You’ve probably been reminded of this by “VSCO” girls, but in case not, here it is: stop using plastic water bottles, please! Seriously, plastic usage has become a problem in the last century, and a great amount of the plastic we use ends up in our oceans and pollutes them. So, if you find a reusable water container (it doesn’t have to be a Hydroflask) and try to reduce your plastic usage, that will slowly but surely benefit the environment. 

Carpool When Possible

Lastly, start carpooling if you don’t do it already. If your parents take you to school, ask them if they can also take one of your friends a couple of days a week; if you and your friends have to meet somewhere try to carpool- just don’t break the law and try to fit 5 other teenagers in the car to “save the environment”. Finally, ride your bike or walk more often if you can. It may be hard to do this with the Houston weather, but even if you only do it twice a month, that is 24 days a year that you didn’t use a car at all!

As you can see, there’s no need for us to change every aspect of our life, but it is definitely a must to start thinking about our planet and ways to help it. As corny as it may sound, we ARE the future of our planet, and it is our responsibility to try to make our world a better one.