Northwest Missourian Opinion

As we all know, climate change is a big issue in the world today and the environment needs our help. According to National Geographic, climate change is defined as “the long-term alteration of temperature and normal weather patterns in a place.”

Evidence of this has been found in the form of rising sea levels and increasing temperatures. The National Ocean Service states, “Sea level continues to rise at a rate of about one-eighth of an inch per year.”

Because of this, flooding has been an average of 600% more frequent in U.S. coastal communities, such as the Pacific Islands, than it was only 50 years ago, according to the National Ocean Service.

The environment is damaged and everyone needs to do their part to limit additional damage.

Another impact of climate change that can be seen is increasing temperatures, which also contribute to rising sea levels. Temperatures are rising due to things like pollution from fossil fuels and the emissions of greenhouse gasses into the air.

Students should try their best to cut down on plastic waste whenever it is possible because the mass production of plastic is a big contributor to the effects of climate change. There are a few simple things that students can do.

First, recycle. There are recycling bins in nearly all of the buildings on campus. People have no excuses for throwing papers in the trash can rather than the recycling bin.

Another thing students can do to help the environment is to seek out companies that are environmentally conscious.

One can find out if a company is helping or hurting the environment by checking their website. For example, Starbucks’ website states that they are investing in green energy to reduce their environmental impact.

Corporations are the biggest contributors to climate change, so by only buying things from corporations that are environmentally friendly, people can decrease the effects of climate change.

Doing this won’t cost people any extra money because the products that they can buy from the companies are products that they would already be buying. Doing this is an effective way to decrease the individual’s impact on climate change because it will decrease the pollution caused by corporations that are not environmentally friendly.

One more option students can choose to reduce their impact on climate change is stock up on reusable products. Using things like reusable straws, water bottles and bags make a big difference. Many people don’t know this, but there are even reusable coffee filters, foil and zipper bags.

Students might be thinking,”I’m a college student, and reusable products are expensive.” While it’s true that buying reusable products can cost them some money upfront, they will save money in the long run because they won’t have to replace them for years and years.

One resource that we have on campus that will help reduce the impact on climate change are refillable water stations. The Residence Hall Association has provided them in every residence hall, the J.W. Jones Student Union and in some of the academic buildings.

All a student has to do to take advantage of this solution is pick up a refillable water bottle, take it to the refill station and fill it up. This solution will save students money because they won’t have to buy plastic bottles, and its effective because it will reduce the amount of pollution created due to plastic.

Doing all of these things will help lessen the rate that the effects of climate change are increasing. So, next time someone orders a drink from Starbucks, they should remember to bring their own cup. They’ll get 10 cents off of their order and the satisfaction of protecting the environment.

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