The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Students reduce, reuse and recycle this Earth Day

Photo by Rebecca Dean
WCHS junior Thao Nguyen recycles an old work sheet in order to help save the Earth. All WCHS students should make sure to do this.

With each passing year, Earth Day becomes more relevant. Since its first official celebration in 1970, the climate crisis has only grown more serious and everyone has felt the tangible effects of global warming. Even recently around WCHS, the weather has become increasingly bizarre, with things like hail storms happening in springtime. Many students feel powerless to stop the climate crisis as it worsens without an end in sight, but there are so many meaningful ways to help. So this Earth Day, or just any day of the year, everyone can think about how they can contribute to the health of the planet.

Shop more sustainably
Social media like TikTok has created an environment of endless micro-trends. People will invest in the latest trend only to discard it once its popularity dies down. This is most egregious when it comes to clothing, as when one trend is over, it serves no purpose. Impulsive clothing consumption has taken off as these micro-trends have grown.

TikTok encourages people to spend thousands of dollars on fast fashion stores like Shein. It is not uncommon to see people advertising their thousand dollar Shein orders on the platform. Not only do these stores maintain inhumane working conditions, but the energy consumption that results from the production and transportation of these clothes has done irreparable damage to the environment. These clothes also are not high quality and will only last a few wears before being discarded, adding further to the huge amount of waste the fashion industry creates.

It is important to not feed into this cycle of overconsumption. The fast fashion industry is notorious for the harm it does to the environment, with it being responsible for 10% of all carbon emissions. WCHS students should consider buying secondhand by visiting their local thrift store or using apps like Poshmark, or avoiding buying into unnecessary microtrends all together to help protect the environment this Earth Day.

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Volunteer for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
MCPS offers countless different volunteering opportunities that can help mitigate the climate crisis. MCPS’ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) provides tools and resources to support events like community cleanups of waterways. All those interested have to do is sign up on the DEP’s website with when they plan to host this community cleanup, and the DEP will supply all the necessary tools.

MCPS’ DEP also offers many different environmental internships. For example, students can participate in a summer internship where they help collect data from different habitats around Montgomery County. This research can then be used to help native species. All of these volunteering options are great opportunities to make a difference.

Help out WCHS Clubs
Joining a WCHS club that involves the environment is a great way to help out this Earth Day. There are many of these clubs at WCHS, from EcoArt to the Clean Water Club. One of WCHS’ clubs, Churchill 4 Climate, recently helped plant trees and flowers at Gaithersburg High School.

“I love being a part of Churchill 4 Climate because I feel I can really make a difference one step at a time,” WCHS junior Karen Haddad said. “People should definitely consider signing up for clubs like this, especially on Earth Day.”

Donating is one of the most simple ways to combat the climate crisis. Although there are numerous environmental charities out there, it is important to ensure that these charities are actually efficiently and effectively using the money. Before donating, make sure to research the charity to confirm that they are using donations in an ethical and efficient way.

One potential charity is EarthRights International, a nonprofit organization based in DC that works to prevent damaging fossil-fuel related projects, protect communities and hold corporations accountable. However, there are many other reliable charities that can help the environment, many with their own specific niche.

Enjoy the outside world
There are countless ways to help out the environment within one’s own backyard. Planting a garden, going for a walk or taking out the recycling are all ways to ensure the survival of the planet. Even if an act is not big, it can still make a positive impact on the Earth. So this Earth Day, make sure to not only enjoy being outside, but also help to ensure future generations can too.

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About the Contributor
Rebecca Dean
Rebecca Dean, Assistant Arts Editor
Rebecca Dean is a junior and the Assistant Arts Editor of the Observer. This is her second year taking journalism. She loves to read in her free time. This year, she is excited to further develop her writing skills and meet new people.

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