Students can change their impact on a dying Earth


Inexpensive metal straws are available for purchase on Amazon.

Kushi Zaver, Op-Ed Editor

In this modern age, millions of United States citizens have implemented small changes in their everyday lives to live sustainably in this world plagued by climate change and mass pollution. 

Lately, metal straws are one of the biggest trends for adults and teens; these straws are 100 percent stainless steel and recyclable. The use of these also drastically reduces the amount of plastic that would be in the ocean. 

Multimillion dollar companies have also caught wind of this movement. Companies such as Starbucks, Mcdonald’s, and Disney have started phasing out the use of plastic by replacing them with paper straws. 

Metal straws have sparked a movement into sustainable living for the average person. Consumers are utilizing more reusable products and less single use plastics. For example, a high schooler in Coffee County Tennessee, Kathryn Welch, has made a step into the movement by owning a reusable water bottle. 

When asked why she chose this lifestyle Welch said, “ You’re saving money and the environment so why not?” 

Millions of adults have also switched to using reusable bags when shopping. Over 300 billion plastic bags have been created, and they all remain on this planet. By 2050 plastic will outweigh fish in the ocean according to the Ellen Macarthur Foundation. If every person who went grocery shopping today used a reusable, recyclable bag, then two million bags would be kept out of the ocean. 

Another sensible 17 year old in Coffee County Tennessee, Alise Clark, claimed, “I try not to use plates, bottles, silverware, etc. as often and when I do I try to recycle what I’m able to.” Small changes such as this would save millions of pounds of plastic from ending up in the ocean. 

Welch is also a thrift shopper. Thrift shopping is another way everyone can do their part to save the planet. 

Thrift shopping is better for the environment because no material is wasted, and it is given a second life. Thrifting can also fight the global problem of fast fashion. Fast fashion is the practice of creating clothing in other countries for cheaper prices. 

While the idea of fast fashion is economical, the reality is that the clothing is made my underpaid, mistreated women and children in sweatshops. While thrifting could indirectly contribute to fast fashion, but it is environmentally friendly nonetheless. 

However, not everyone loves to spend time hunting for the secret gems thrift stores hold, so they could shop from women ran sustainable companies. For example, Reformation is a sustainable and ethical clothing brand that sells fresh pieces. 

On this Clark commented, “ I pay more attention to brands I’m buying from and try to find sustainable ones that I can afford.” For most people this is all that the planet can ask. When asked her reason for changing her lifestyle Clark stated, “Because the Earth is dying.” 

It is as simple as that. Without a change by the people the ocean will be too hazardous to swim in, the air too polluted to breathe, and the soil too dry to grow crops. Everyone can make a change in their lives if they try, and the planet needs people to try.