info@delawareipl.org (405) 714-7612

Junhao Xiao

Newark Charter High School

Environmental Justice

 

Environmental Justice for Delaware

 

The natural environment is essential to our survival and well-being, however it is under continuous threat. Climate change is one of the most serious concerns, with the effects of a warming planet already being noticed globally, from extreme weather to rising sea levels. However, some people are unfairly affected compared to others, and these communities are often the least responsible for contributing to environmental degradation. This phenomenon is called environmental injustice, an issue that needs to be discussed. The situation isn’t any different in Delaware, where some people face the effects of environmental injustice every day.

 

Environmental injustice is when communities or individuals are exposed to an unreasonable level of pollution and other environmental hazards compared to others. This has deep roots in historical patterns of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, and even social status. The results of these environmental injustices include some communities having a higher rate of health problems such as asthma, cancer, and other inconveniences as well, as stated by the article from “Environmental Justice for Delaware”. These groups of people often face challenges with accessing quality healthcare to reverse the effects of pollution. Despite the difficult challenges communities face with environmental injustice, there is still hope. The youth can take action to raise awareness to this issue by demanding accountability from polluters and policy makers, and advocate for policies that prevent further environmental degradation, promoting equity.

 

Individually, the youth can take action in their daily lives to reduce their carbon footprint, promoting environmental sustainability. This can include things like reducing energy consumption, using public transportation, and reducing waste, possibly decreasing the amount of pollution in low-income communities. This effort will be rewarding long term because over the years, it’ll most likely help those communities hinder respiratory problems and other health issues. Taking action doesn’t stop here, the youth can also work together to bring light to the problem.

 

Collectively, the youth can organize petitions to raise awareness of the problem. Peaceful petitions can be a great way for the youth to raise awareness of environmental injustice. Another one of the most powerful ways the people can take action is getting involved with organizations that raise awareness for the problem. Being involved in these organizations will give people the platform to project their voice out to the public and demand change. Yet another way for the youth to make a difference is to collectively contact officials and policy makers to implement new policies, shaping policy decisions that impact their communities and the environment. Another critical way that the youth can redress environmental injustice is by participating in research that identifies sources of pollution and environmental hazards and their impacts on human health. They can then collect data to share with policy makers, community leaders, and other influencers to inform them of the potential dangers. Lastly, the youth can become environmental leaders themselves. By organizing events, educating peers, and sharing their experiences, young people can inspire others to take action and work towards environmental equality.

 

In conclusion, environmental injustice is a pervasive problem that impacts communities and individuals around the world, including here in Delaware. While the issue can seem daunting, youth can take action together to raise awareness, advocate for change, and promote environmental equality through their actions.

 

 

 

Works Cited

“Environmental Justice for Delaware.” Union of Concerned Scientists, 17 Oct. 2017, https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/environmental-justice-delaware.