Global climate strike worthy of attention

Kyla Barnett, Features Editor

The first of multiple climate strikes in over 150 countries began on Friday during the week-long Global Climate Strike. Students from all over the world left class to march for the climate three days before a UN emergency climate summit was held in New York.

With all of the action around the globe, where is ours? 

Manhattan High School has tried to make changes to help our Earth, but we could be doing a lot more. Manhattan High School has quite a few groups who concern themselves with the well-being of the Earth but there was no information or publicity on this strike throughout the school. The school has put recycling bins almost everywhere you look, but plenty of recyclables still end up in the trash. 

Simple swaps are being bypassed by the students and staff in favor of easier options. Every day thousands of students in our school and the surrounding school district eat off of styrofoam trays for lunch, when regular lunch trays would not only save the Earth but the district’s pocket. This leads to thousands of pounds of waste headed directly to the landfill each year after no more than 30 minutes of use.  We are also forced to buy a planner when we enroll for school, which gets thrown away almost immediately by many students, wasting paper and plastic for no good reason. We mindlessly kill the earth with next to no regard to how it’s affecting us.

Participating in the climate strike would have been a great way to raise awareness within our school and community and show that we care about the Earth. Most of us do care, but we just feel helpless and say “Well, there’s nothing I can do about it.” But we can. 

We might not be able to physically do much, but if we speak out and show adults and government officials that something needs to change, we can start to move in the right direction. Organizing climate strikes and park clean-ups doesn’t need to be difficult and you don’t need to be an adult to do it. Teens started this climate strike and we can continue what they started. If we push for this, we can get it done. There just needs to be action, because there will always be adults in this school who care just as much about this as we do. We need to utilize their support and get stuff done. With our Westboro counter-protest last year we proved that we can raise our voices together for a change for the better and it’s time to do that again. 

There are over 1,800 students at MHS. That’s 1,800 voices and 1,800 people who could make a difference. We have to ability to do some good, so let’s do it. Let’s be active. Let’s be better.