How to live greener

Little steps can make a big difference


Madchen Fox, staff writer

While many of our students are struggling enough with responsibilities, we should all take a moment to be more aware of our current climate crisis. The best way to do this is to try to live greener.

This phrase can be intimidating for most, since it can be followed by extremes, like cutting out all plastic and replacing all our usual products with a more expensive alternative. For high school students, this is unrealistic! However, making some eco-conscious decisions can help our planet and save your money.

1). Try to limit your single-use plastics! 

If you tend to drink out of plastic water bottles, consider changing to a metal bottle. Not only can they be reused multiple times, but they can be more cost-efficient in the long run. Instead of getting a plastic straw, consider investing in a metal straw! Many are foldable, allowing for easy portability. Some companies, like Starbucks, even give out discounts for bringing your own clean, reusable cup.

2). When you do have to use single-use plastics, try to find a way to reuse or recycle

I understand that sometimes, you have no other choice but to use and then trash plastic. However, many can still be reused or recycled. It’s important to confirm your item is recyclable, since some plastics, like plastic forks, can actually do more harm than good to a recycling machine! With plastic water bottles, the bottle is easily recyclable, but the cap is debatable. If you’re unsure if you can safely recycle, consider finding a way to reuse! For example, many larger-scale restaurants use dense plastic containers for to-go boxes. Instead of throwing these out after use, wash them and use them as Tupperware containers! You can also make some money from recycling! Recycling metal cans (like soup cans or soda cans) can help earn you 25¢ per pound.

3). Be conscious of your energy consumption

When you leave a room, make sure you have switched any lights, TVs, and any other electricity-consuming products off! Also, try to refrain from wasting water, especially hot water! Hot water takes considerably more electricity and is often wasted. Don’t turn on the shower until you’re ready to get in, wash your clothes in cooler water, and do your dishes with warm water rather than hot! All these will lower both your water and electricity consumption, which can help you save a pretty penny!

4). Don’t feel guilty

While these efforts can have very positive effects on the climate, they cannot fully solve climate issues. Companies continuously contribute more to climate issues than we do. In order to combat this, we must hold them accountable. If you can, vote! fracking (petroleum extraction) is an issue many politicians are debating over. The less fracking, the better. Fracking helps make gas and plastics, but it also contributes to large amounts of global pollution.