By: Margot Amouyal
A turtle attempts to swim through mounds of water bottles, grocery bags, and empty jars. Unfortunately, every year one hundred million sea animals, like this turtle, are killed due to plastic waste in oceans. “It makes me sad that animals are being lost every year on a preventable issue,” says Annika Hardy ‘20.
Each individual piece of plastic deteriorates extremely slowly, taking up to four hundred years to biodegrade. In that time span, animals typically mistake the plastic as food, consuming toxic chemicals that led to choking and liver disease.
“I feel so bad for the animals because they are not doing any harm to us we are only doing harm to them,” stated Jules Holland ‘20, a president of the Beaver Environmental Action Team.
The Beaver Environmental Action Team meets monthly and tackles issues such as plastic waste. This year, the team conquered the usage of plastic cups for tea and coffee in the morning.
“I wanted to help eliminate plastic, so I thought of the reusable cups program,” added Jules. “The program handed out free cups to students to encourage them to shift from single plastic to reusable material.”
When asked about the largest issue facing the environment at present, Jules believes denying it exists is extremely problematic, “There are endless facts that prove climate change exists, and yet people still deny it threatening the world.”
Next year in the spring, Jules Holland will be attending the Island School in the Bahamas to continue her passion for marine biology. “ I had heard only positive things about [The Island School] and it was calling my name. The warm weather and focus on the environment had my name written all over it.”
Students attending the school participate in “a rigorous routine from daily swims and runs to the classes throughout the day and then research projects later in the day,” added Jules. “We also will be scuba diving daily and learning about marine life and the coral reefs.”
The majority of Americans “make a moderate amount of effort to lessen the effects of climate change”, however, are unsure about tangible actions they can take. “I feel that I know some simple things I can do but I don’t know how I can really make a difference,” adds Annika.
There are many ways students can help the environment, and save that turtle. It all starts with walking instead of driving, recycling, and taking shorter showers.
“There is so much we can do for the environment,” Jules said.