Steps to save the planet


It’s 2020, and our planet is rapidly declining into an ill state, but even as Barrington high students, we can help prevent the bleak future that generations to come will have to face by becoming more eco-friendly through our small daily actions.
Throughout the globe temperatures are rising, plastic production is at a high, and water shortages are steadily moving up the list of the world’s greatest problems. But, wait, that doesn’t affect you. In Barrington, we live in a utopia, the lush green grasses that we pass by in our hybrids, or waiting in the coffee bar line with friends is all we see.
Despite this seemingly eventful and inconsequential society we believe we’re in, every action has a reaction, just like you learned in 8th grade chemistry. Every drive in your car produces mass amounts of carbon emission, and every latte you’ve ordered is sealed in a plastic cup that does the same.
In case you’re confused on why this is so terrible, here’s a short summary of the toxicity of plastic. Plastic is often ingested by aquatic animals which severely poisons them. When plastic is thrown into landfills, left to decompose (which by the way can take decades) it can leak into groundwater which leaves dangerous chemicals underneath the Earth’s surface. (
Plastic is also one of the most energy consuming products to make. This means that because of plastics’ huge carbon footprint, it is a large contributor to why climate change is occuring (
But, I know, you need your car to get to places and sometimes a coffee pick-me-up before the first period can uplift your day. However, there are slight changes you can make in your routine that would be beneficial for our Earth, especially here in Barrington.
Instead of using the coffee bars’ plastic cups, straws and lids, bring a reusable mug with you. Bringing your own container is idealistic because it prevents more production of elastic products, and reduces the support of plastic producing companies.
Don’t go to Barrington’s local Jewel Osco; make the extra mile to North Barrington’s Trader Joe’s. A great alternative, Trader Joe’s uses less plastic and has healthier options (just an added bonus). A typical grocery store uses plastic bags to wrap their produce, but Trader Joe’s uses compostable products, as well as recycled. In return, this cuts down on plastic use, which in turn saves our planet!
Also, if you eat at the school cafeteria or order from the a-la-carte lines, you may have noticed that many of the school lunch lines, like the burger and taco areas use paper containers instead of chips or Rice Krispy Treats that have plastic wrapping. Rather than buying multiple little snacks, splurge a little on a meal to reduce single-use plastic.
There are so many other things in Barrington that high schoolers can do, but just making these little changes is a great start. Although it might not seem like much, every little step to use less plastic can help prolong the lifespan of Earth.