The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

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Spread sustainability

It is no secret that the damage caused by climate change is severe and becoming irreversible. Hundreds of news headlines are published every day detailing the effects of climate change and the looming problems it brings. Deforestation, rising sea levels, species extinction, flooding, drought, and mudslides are just a few of the increasing problems associated with climate change. 

As just one individual, it often feels like these problems are much bigger than us. We are left wondering: “Can just one person make a difference?” When reading about the destruction of entire ecosystems, the pollution of whole cities, the complete extinction of a species, we feel like the answer to that question is “no.” And so, we don’t make any changes. A whopping 49% of Americans think that individuals can’t do much to combat climate change. 

Just one person’s choices might not make the greatest difference for the environment, but the influence on others does make an impact. All it takes is one person to advocate for the environment, to make just a simple change, in order to inspire others. One person making a change and reducing their carbon footprint might not make that significant of a difference, but 20 people making a change will definitely have an impact.

Maybe you’re wondering then, “how do I make a difference?” It doesn’t have to be big, or expensive, or seriously change what your life is like. It can be simple. One thing you could do is participate in meatless mondays, which is as it sounds, just not eating meat on mondays. Meat production emits massive amounts of greenhouse gasses, which ultimately lead to climate change. Eliminating meat from your diet for just one day a week is equivalent to cutting out 348 miles of driving. For most cars it would take a full tank of gas to go that distance. 

You can also bring your own shopping bags, or better yet, skip the bag altogether. The average American uses more than 300 plastic bags each year, each bag taking up to 1,000 years to entirely decompose. It can be challenging to cut plastic bag use out of your life entirely, but simply being aware of your use makes a difference. 

The next time you’re at the store and the cashier asks if you want a bag, or you are scanning your items at self checkout, just think for a second if it is really necessary. You can also start keeping a reusable shopping bag in your car so that you are less likely to forget it when you go to the store. It’s also an easy switch to start using reusable Ziplocs or tupperware instead of single use bags when you’re making lunch for the day.

Just turn off the lights when you leave a room, recycle when you can, and use a reusable water bottle. It’s little changes like these that can inspire a big change. If you start making small shifts in your life, others might be motivated to do the same.

This isn’t to say that climate change is entirely the fault of individuals, because it’s not. Many of the problems are the result of massive corporations, factories, and government regulations. However it is unproductive to just blame these groups and wait for them to make changes. As individuals we have the power to make a difference, and we have to act on it. Just start small, start now, and tell others to do the same. 


All statistics from: Electrek, the National Ocean Service, the University of Colorado-Boulder, Environment America

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Sadie Ruppert
Sadie Ruppert, In-Depth Editor, Web Editor
Little does the other in-depth editor know she’s the weird one

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