Sophomore Brian Pham uses a refillable water bottle instead of a single-use plastic bottle. Photo by Kevin Doan
Fountain Valley High School

Opinion: A guide to being more environmentally conscious

Through social media, people have become increasingly aware of the harmful aspects that affect our planet. With the constant bombardment of news on climate catastrophes, people around the world are asking “Why?” and “What can I do?” This guide will tell you exactly what you can do to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Reduce your plastic usage.

Although it may seem obvious, this is still a necessary approach to being more environmentally friendly. Humans produce around 300 million tons of plastic every year, according to the UN Environment. By choosing to reuse or reduce, we can make an attempt to lowering this number.

It’s quite simple: choose reusable water bottles, bags, straws, and utensils, instead of their plastic counterparts. It’s a great way to both save money and save the environment.

Recycle.

If it’s impossible for you to refrain from using plastic, at least recycle it.

There are plenty of recycling bins at school, both in the classrooms and outside. You could even use your family’s recycling bin to make some money. Throw your plastic bottles in there and it’s as easy as that.

Minimize.

This tip applies to anything, from paper to water to waste.

Use less paper whenever possible or reuse pieces of scratch paper when necessary. Simple acts like turning off your water faucet when brushing your teeth or choosing food products that don’t use plastic containers actually have a significant impact on helping the environment.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an average household uses more than 300 gallons of water every day. Choose to save water by minimizing the water usage in your household.

Change your diet.

For this tip, you don’t necessarily need to go vegan. Although that is beneficial, you can just eat healthier. Eat a more plant-based diet and limit your meat consumption. Eating less meat can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, air pollution, and soil pollution.

Take a walk.

Instead of driving to school, opt for other forms of transportation. Driving greatly affects the air quality in your city. According to National Geographic, vehicles contribute to around one-third of all U.S. air pollution. With carpooling, walking, and biking, you have unlimited options to get to school.

Donate and support.

Donate to charities or foundations that work to help the environment. You can also support companies that use recycled materials or more eco-friendly methods of production.

Do your research on companies you choose to support. Some companies that are revolutionizing the eco-friendly market are Lush, Toms, Patagonia, and Beyond Meat.

Educate.

The most important thing and by far the easiest thing to do is to educate yourself. Do your research and become aware of what’s harmful to the environment.

Educate your friends and your family on how to reduce their plastic or water usage or how they can support more eco-friendly companies. Educating others of what’s going on and pushing for change is what will really make a difference.