Written by Venus Aradhya, 15, Washington
The biggest issue that should be on politicians minds, as well as all people, is our increasing environmental disaster. One of the biggest topics discussed in debates are what is the candidates plan on the climate change crisis. In the minds of everyday people, many are making small changes in their lifestyles so that they can hopefully make a difference. While it may seem tempting to think that switching to reusable bags while grocery shopping is the solution to the crisis, on the long-term, this won’t be a solution to end it.
While we are convinced that everyone's small change matters, which it does, it really isn’t the solution that can help us now. I believe that the only way to approach the climate crisis is to think big. We can’t depend on everyone switching to reusable materials because no matter what, a good majority of people will prioritize comfort. This makes sense as technologies are supposed to make life easier. Rather than having every person make the decision themself, we can take this one step up. We should target the companies that are supplying us with these harmful products. One law that should be worked on is switching from harmful products to helpful ones. For instance, we can switch from plastic straws to paper straws, plastic and styrofoam cups to a system of either glass cups or paper cups. While it will take a while to find a substitute to plastic, all products that can be changed should be, and the ones that can’t be easily should be changed, even if making it inefficient, until we find a proper solution. This way while people may be tempted to use harmful products for efficiency, they won’t be available to use.
Now since we can’t depend on every store to stop supplying these products just like we can’t depend on each person, a statewide order should be issued compromising for the benefit of the public and people. This is a big enough target rather than going straight to federal so that each state will have their own flexibility based on region. The same technique can be used to replace all harmful practices and items so that it won’t be easy to find. Another idea would be to reward people with tax returns for those who consistently recycle and compost correctly making it more likely to be a priority for them. Most people know shopping at farmers markets is healthier for the planet, but if it were made easier for the people and more lawful, then it would be practiced more. While there are still many solutions that need to be found before making an environmentally friendly lifestyle more efficient, if state and federal governments funded projects related to this, it would help finding the solution much quicker and would ease our lifestyles more.
Now other than just the topic of goods, one of the other large problems is fuel and energy. Currently, a majority of energy is coming from natural gas and coal which is extremely harmful to our planet. Many studies have shown that all renewable energy sources are capable of running our planet yet we are not using it to its fullest capacity due to large companies and the cost. What we need to do is target this issue first as it is the one that constricts the planet’s health the most. Our countries need to invest their money into supplying this energy to all citizens and helping switch companies and homes from dangerous sources to healthy ones. They should invest their money into large projects that still constrain the effort. For instance, a nuclear fusion plant or energy plant that can easily provide energy with no complications and can easily rid of need for other sources.
What we need is for the governments to invest in technologies that will tackle the bigger environmental issues such as energy, pollution reduction, water treatment, plastic replacement, and issues that can’t be easily handeled by citizens- projects must be supported and solutions must be found by putting energy into finding a solution, but governments don’t put enough energy aside to solve these issues. Each state government should then pass restrictions on the products and practices people can do such as what they can use, their recycling and composting, and restocking all stores and restaurants with environmentally friendly tools. If we use this method, we will be sure to have better development in the environmental health of our planet.