Upcoming Earth Day expects to inspire environmental change


Photo taken by Jameson Stahl

Students in science teacher Glenn Boettcher’s wildlife course are currently growing plants in the school greenhouse. There is an array of environmental classes offered at the high school, even including an environmental club.

The state of the environment has been rapidly declining, due to issues surrounding climate change and ozone depletion. With Earth Day coming up on April 22, it is critically important that we take action to resolve current environmental issues, while also recognizing what is already being done to remedy these issues.

The broad solution to environmental pollution is to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. Fossil fuels, which produce carbon dioxide, have provided more than 80 percent of total U.S. energy consumption for more than 100 years. It is critical to address human dependence on fossil fuels, as time is running out and our environment continues to suffer from the effects.

Raise your vegetables in your own garden; this saves a lot on the use of fossil fuels to ship items here from California or other countries.”

— Glenn Boettcher

Part of the issue stems from us. Approximately 10 percent of U.S. energy use goes into growing, processing, packaging and shipping food—about 40 percent of which just ends up in a landfill. Something simple that can be done in our day-to-day lives is to reduce the amount of food and water we waste. Another change that would have a significant impact is to eat food that is grown, raised or produced locally, either in our own backyards or by supporting local farmers.

Raise your vegetables in your own garden; this saves a lot on the use of fossil fuels to ship items here from California or other countries,” agriscience teacher Glenn Boettcher said.

All of the resources needed to reduce fossil fuel dependence can be found on Earth with no harm to the environment or us. One renewable resource currently being used globally is something that is always available to us, the sun. In the last decade, solar energy has experienced an average annual growth rate of 50 percent. Solar power is not the only renewable resource currently being used. Wind power, especially in the U.S., has seen a rapid increase with 74,471 wind turbines currently in use.

As Boettcher points out, “Continuing support of research and development for alternative energy options that are more efficient with lower initial investment costs is key.”

The most recent and recognizable movement away from fossil fuels is the electric car company, Tesla. Tesla has developed multiple electric cars, including a semi-truck, all aimed for the common goal of eliminating fossil fuel use among vehicles. Tesla projects to produce 400,000 cars in 2019, making them a leading force in the movement to electric vehicles. This can be seen throughout the auto industry.

Above all else, starting conversations about environmental issues and discussing what can be done is the most important thing to do. It certainly is not too late too slow the environmental damage.