Updated: Aug 4, 2022
Why can’t people wake up and realize that our climate is in crisis?
A common thought I’ve been having for the past five or so years. I’ve always been a strong supporter of doing your part to help the Earth, but up until I found my voice as an advocate of environmental consciousness, I never understood the other side of the argument.
What is said argument? I believe we must prioritize fixing the climate crisis before we have reached the point of detrimental devastation of no return. This may sound dire, but drastic times call for drastic measures. With all the research and scientific studies behind climate change, I am baffled at the thought that there are people who do not carry the same beliefs and sense of urgency that I do. As I have matured and become more involved within my community, I have found that, besides ignorance, a lot of people feel climate change is too overwhelming and overbearing to comprehend—that the effects on our planet won’t be as bad as they seem, or that no preventative measures taken now will change much down the line. While these ideas of avoidance and delays may be difficult to agree with, I can understand that they are stemming from feelings of apprehension.
The most effective thing I did—as an adolescent with restricted resources, time, respectability, and influence—was to start advocating within my community. So, after participating in my town’s compost challenge, and realizing the positive impact that composting has on reducing the volume of materials being sent to the landfill or incinerator, I decided to join my high school’s Sustainability Club.
Joining Oyster River High School’s Sustainability Club allowed me to realize that I wasn’t alone in my urgency to make change. I found that there are countless other teenagers like me, who have acknowledged the problem at hand and have decided to take action by chipping away at the roots of the climate crisis through the supportive, collaborative setting the sustainability club has offered.
Currently, I am working alongside a few other students to implement a compost system throughout our school. We have found that throughout our two-year composting journey, education is the most essential component of an effective and sustainable system.
I sometimes get the question of, “why bother?” Composting may seem like such a small act in the momentous scheme of things, but I assure you that every little action matters, as those small actions, which may seem like a drop in the bucket, add up to a tidal wave of change. While these changes in habits and behavior may seem pointless or inconvenient at first, looking through a lens beyond individual achievements is key to supporting local and global efforts fostering solid and necessary change in the years to come.