How do you show appreciation for the earth?
Arianna Khan ’22: I make environmentally conscious and sustainable choices in my everyday life whenever possible out of respect for the earth and the environment.
Angelina Scarlotta ’23: One of my favorite things to do is participate in Green Up Day. It’s a Vermont “holiday” of sorts on the first Saturday in May where everyone goes out to pick up trash on the sides of roads and in public outdoor spaces.
Caris White ’23: By spending time in nature and picking up trash when I see it lying around.
Christina Baris ’22: I try to be as sustainable as possible, and I support politicians who advocate for the environment.
What responsibility does each individual have to reduce climate change?
AK: Each individual has a HUGE responsibility to do anything they can to reduce climate change. Climate change is a massive, existential problem that affects every one of us, and addressing it requires the participation of everyone, on both the national and individual scales.
AS: I think everyone has to take some level of responsibility for this issue by implementing sustainable practices into their lives. They don’t have to be big things, either. Anything helps, and the more people who do little things to help the earth, the better off we will all be.
CW: Everyone has a responsibility to be cognizant of their carbon footprint and try to reduce it within their means. Whether that’s eating less meat, walking or biking instead of driving, carpooling, etc.
CB: Climate change is a global issue; it cannot be reduced without everyone’s support.
How do you practice sustainability on a daily basis?
AK: I use my spork and a reusable coffee mug.
AS: I recycle and compost, turn the lights off when I leave my dorm and use reusable water bottles and straws.
CW: I recycle and carry reusable silverware and a reusable straw in my backpack. I also take short showers and try to turn off all the lights in my dorm when people are leaving.
CB: I use a reusable water bottle, limit my use of single-use plastic and try to be conscious about the impact of my actions (however big or small).
Do you recycle?
AS: I try to recycle as much as I can, though it is difficult sometimes. For example, with the plastic smoothie cups from Collis, I don’t always have an opportunity to wash them out, and I have to throw them away so that the rest of the recycling doesn’t get contaminated.
CB: As much as I can!
How does the looming threat of climate change affect you?
AK: It creates uncertainty; I don’t know what my future will look like. It’s also extremely anxiety-inducing to know that the window that we have as humankind to meaningfully address climate change before it is too late is dwindling, and we’re not doing enough.
AS: It’s something that’s always in the back of my mind. As a college freshman, I’m supposed to feel as though I have a long, bright future ahead of me. But with the worsening state of our planet, I often feel unsure of what my future will actually turn out to be or how much of it I will get to have.
CW: It makes me think about where I should live my adult life, and it also makes me worried about the future for the generations to come.
CB: To be honest, it’s not something I think about everyday (mostly because it’s kind of terrifying to think about). It’s really scary to consider how devastating the impacts of climate change will be, especially for the generations after us.
How have you experienced climate change?
AK: I’m from Florida and, growing up, hurricanes were extremely rare and terrifying events for me. Now, they’re hitting or nearing the state regularly, multiple times a year, and I’ve become almost used to them.
AS: I have experienced climate change primarily through how mild the past few winters have been in Vermont. This winter, for example, it rained on New Year’s and for the whole week after. The only time I can remember it being above-freezing that late in December was the Christmas of my freshman year of high school, when it was 70 degrees.
CW: The drought in California (my home state) was one of the worst on record, and the fires have been way worse than usual for the past few years. My best friend’s house could go underwater if sea levels rise as predicted in the future.
CB: Winters — both here and back home in New York — are getting significantly warmer. Also, I used to go to Florida every summer, and the red tide agal blooms keep getting worse, which has devastating impacts for marine wildlife.