STUDENT EDITORIAL: Small Change Can Make a Big Environmental Impact

A Note from Mrs. Rachael A. Moss, Journalism & Communications Teacher:

Before our Thanksgiving Break, the Free Lancer Staff completed their first editorial writing project.  Each student identified an issue, proposed solutions and researched each topic utilizing reputable web-based sources.  Our students focused on editorial writing techniques used by The New York Times and other, similar, professional publications.  I am delighted to share these editorials with our community.  Some writers prefer the traditional “byline,” while others opt for attribution as only “Free Lancer Staff.”  This is in keeping with standards (again) set by publications like The New York Times.  Thank you for reading our first ever student editorials.

Student Photography by Ella Salata, Class of 2026

Human beings have been worsening the air quality and atmosphere since the beginning of human history. However, in the age of technology, we are equipped with ways to track the sources and find solutions to the decrease in air quality. The problem we are faced with today is how to fix the damage that has already been done. In his book, The Uninhabitable Earth, journalist David Wallace-Wells says we have about 30 years left on this Earth if rapid changes are not made soon. 

If you are reading this article and you value your life and/ or that of those around you, the idea of our planet and every life on it collectively ending is probably terrifying; however, we as individuals can contribute to the solution. The list of changes we can make to our everyday lives is not very long or difficult but the tasks may be a big change or just a minor inconvenience, but at the cost of our planet, it just might be worth it. Some things we can do are: taking public transportation, reusing clothes/ thrifting, making environmentally friendly food choices, using solar power as fuel, creating and signing petitions, protesting and speaking up against large corporations on issues such as these. 

Unfortunately, large corporations are the root of the uptick in numbers in climate change. Large corporations will plow down many acres of forests just to build a factory surrounded by smoke stacks; not only eliminating a solution, but adding to the problem. Clothing companies could use a more sustainable shipping method for their clothes or resume materials to create their clothes. 

One of my favorite environmentally sustainable clothing companies is Chnge. Their clothing is based on worldly issues such as feminism, racism, taking better care of the earth and acceptance in general. Additionally, they have a line of earth themed shirts which are made of plastic bottles and cotton fabric scraps, making them zero waste. 

Additionally, they give the option of paying with Shop Pay. The package tracking app, Shop, gives its users the option to set up their billing and shipping information, making purchases as easy as the click of a button. Shop also offsets all of their carbon emissions in shipping when you pay with Shop Pay. This scenario would be an example of an entirely carbon neutral transaction. 

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