COLUMN: I’d appreciate if we didn’t ruin the world


Katja Benz, Columnist

The Earth is dying. I’m sure that we all know that and I hope that we know it’s true and bound to happen.

That scares me, as a young person who wants to have a future on a planet that won’t blow up when I’m sixty.

Recently, I got scared about it: I don’t want the world to blow up when we’re young adults. I mean, I don’t want it to blow up at all, but that’s not the point.

The point is that climate change is real and we only have a short time to fix it.

In 2015, The Paris Climate Agreement was written and adopted by almost 200 countries and became binding to those who signed in late 2016.

The point of the agreement, according to The United Nations Climate Change site is to lower carbon emissions under 2 degrees Celsius.

“Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels,” the site said.

And honestly, that’s a start. However, this all starts with us.

While it seems like us, your average college students, can’t do anything to stop climate change, we can do lots of things.

We can:

· Recycle. That’s pretty easy. Any time you go to Dunkin, recycle the plastic cup you got when you get home. Or you could get a reusable cup and use it every time you go.

· Drive less and walk more. I’ll be completely transparent: I can’t drive. It’s not safe for me to get a drivers license or drive at all, so I’m used to walking everywhere. I walk to Starbucks, or to restaurants, and when I had my old job, I’d walk four miles to and from work everyday (unless it was raining or snowing). Not only is it great exercise, but it lowered my carbon footprint and lessened the fossil fuels my parents had to use to get me to or from work.

· Use public transit. I know a lot of Eastern students are from small towns and need cars to get places. However, you can walk around Charleston, use the dial-a-ride, use Amtrak to get to Chicago, or use buses around town if you go to St. Louis or Chicago.

· Use less electricity. I know I can sometimes spend a lot of time in the bathroom getting ready or straightening my hair with heat tools, but if I can let my hair air dry before straightening or not doing it for a few days just to save energy, I will. You can also keep lights off during the day when you’re not home.

· Use less water. I get it, we use water for cooking, showering, drinking, brushing teeth, but we can lower that too. Maybe take a ten minute shower instead of a twenty, or turn the water off when brushing your teeth. You can also wash hands and turn off the water while you rub your hands with soap.

· Finally, you can write to the government. It’s our politicians job to vote on things that their constituents care about. So if they know we care about this, they may be able to fix it.

There are so many other things we can do. These are just examples.

However, if you want to live safely on earth, you should do something. Even if you don’t, you should help out your future family or think of your friends and theirs.

The world is ending and it needs to stop.

Katja Benz is a senior English major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].