Combatting the Climate Crisis in School

While the school puts in effort to aid in mitigating climate change, it’s nowhere near enough.

Senior+Kaitlin+Lyman+drew+a+chalk+drawing+at+last+year%27s+Earth+Day+celebration+during+Fine+Arts+week.+This+year%2C+due+to+COVID-19%2C+Earth+Day+celebrations+took+on+a+new+look+via+virtual+learning.+

Kamryn Rogers

Senior Kaitlin Lyman drew a chalk drawing at last year’s Earth Day celebration during Fine Arts week. This year, due to COVID-19, Earth Day celebrations took on a new look via virtual learning.

Morgan Herriott, Print Managing Editor

Climate change is arguably one of the most prevalent issues in today’s society. As climate change increasingly gets worse, our world is only getting closer to creating irreversible damage. It is necessary that all people across the globe do what they can to help mitigate the main causes of climate change. This includes individually, at places of work, and even at school.

Over the years, Sion has put in efforts to help reduce climate change. There are recycling bins in almost every classroom, water bottle refill-stations, the use of laptops, solar panels, our lunch program often includes produce that is grown locally, the Green Team consistently works to implement new methods for reducing emissions and in a year without COVID-19 students even get the opportunity to learn more about our impact on the environment from the one and only “Eco Elvis”. 

Even though these are steps in the right direction, there is still so much more that can be done. And some of the solutions are simple. Lights are frequently left on in rooms that aren’t occupied. Just turn them off. And yes, while students are encouraged to recycle, that doesn’t mean they are actually being held accountable to do so. It’s the small things that count and can make the biggest impact.

Sion additionally has a unique reason for working towards environmental justice. Sion’s charism states the dedication to promoting a world of “peace, justice and love.” This translates to taking action amidst the climate crisis because not only is climate change an environmental issue, it’s a social justice issue. Since Sion promotes the Catholic Social Teaching of “Care for the Earth,” and has a dedication to social justice, climate action should be taken much more seriously.

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Our Green Team has created this video to promote environmentalism for Earth Day!

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This isn’t to say that Sion needs to start taking drastic measures to make a huge impact. Starting small is still starting somewhere. The more students and faculty that take it upon themselves to work towards a cleaner environment and carbon footprint, the better off the whole community will be. Sustainable living can be a much easier transition than you may think. Some simple steps schools can take include teaching more about climate science, calculating the school’s carbon footprint and learning how to take steps to reduce it and truly doubling down on reducing, reusing and recycling, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency

Reducing, reusing and recycling are some of the easiest and most common ways to mitigate climate change, especially when it comes to the classroom setting. If Sion were to take a stronger stance in regards to encouraging these methods, it would lead to a much bigger and more positive impact on the school’s amount of reduced emissions. According to StopWaste, reusing and recycling cardboard saves almost four tons of CO2 from if they were to enter landfills, recycling paper reduces energy output and CO2 emissions by 4.3 tons and buying recycled paper, even if the actual recycled material percentage is low, can save up to one ton of CO2. These measures aren’t drastic and very feasible. Especially since it’s clear that they would be an aid to saving the planet, these methods should be taken into serious consideration.

Encouraging students to get involved is so important. Individuals and the school as a whole are more than capable of making a greater impact on the climate crisis than they may even realize. Sion has a multitude of resources and ways to do so, they just need to take initiative and begin to actually work towards a change.