Combat Climate Change for the New Year


Madison Mellon

Surfrider volunteer member Zoe Hall picks up trash at Croatan Beach on Jan. 21, 2023.

People overlook the numerous ways to better themselves by giving back to help protect the planet in crisis. As the New Year came along, so did new personal resolutions, yet almost none include ways to better our planet and live a more sustainable life.

As climate change proceeds to increase in speed and severity, more action needs to be taken to contribute to fixing what humans as a society have done.

“The Earth is currently warming at a rate not seen in the past 10,000 years,” NASA has studied.

People can make some small or big changes to help the environment. Every little thing helps. “Some steps that can be taken are making ones voice heard by those in power, eat less meat and dairy, leave the car at home, reduce energy use, cut consumption and waste, talk about the changes one personally makes to spread awareness and most importantly respect and protect green spaces,” according to The Imperial College of London. 

In simpler words; don’t leave trash in the environment, use energy-efficient appliances, buy or grow local food and don’t use unsustainable plastics. This could be as simple as cutting out plastic utensils and bottles. Carpooling with friends is a great way to reduce the number of emissions personally released into the atmosphere.

Clean up trash even if it’s from what others left behind.

“When I was little there used to be a lot of Koi fish in the Japanese garden at Redwing, unfortunately, most of them died because of littering, but ever since then, I’ve been a bit more aware of the effects humanity has had on the environment. So I try to do my part no matter how small it may be,” said junior Zach Coats, who picked up trash on a nature walk during english class. 

Consuming less meat and dairy can help reduce intense pressure on forests and land used to grow animal feed, which furthermore, protects biodiversity. 

Cut down on fast fashion or shopping first-hand clothes, instead, thrift, learn to create clothes by hand, or shop sustainable brands.

Many scientists hope that social media, the news, and other outlets showcase how severe Earth’s problems truly are and continue to become. With more publicity, they hope to reach and convince everyone to take action and just simply be better at coexisting sustainably.

An infinite number of ways to personally help protect Earth and combat climate change are available. Nature provides for society, yet most are not protecting or providing in return. The only problem is people’s motivation to do so.