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Ritisha Sarbajna

Posted on June 19, 2022 at 6:38 pm

Ritisha Sarbajna

For all of my life and to this day, I have lived in Delaware. Even after all these years, only a few times have I thought about how privileged I really am.  Delaware isn’t just a state, it is a community. For change, many unite and stand together to make a difference. Discrimination and racism have existed for decades, centuries even. This issue has only just recently come to light in the United States over the last few decades and even recent years, leading up to now. The term environmental justice can be easily searched up in the dictionary, or what current technology allows, a search engine. Simply typing in the term will give you several definitions and examples of what this could mean. As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states, Environmental justice can be defined as,”…the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.”

As a student in high school, I can regretfully say that I have never once heard the term “environmental justice” at any point during my education. Upon researching the topic, the term has sprouted a seed in my mind, which will hopefully grow to branch out and inform others of the situation it concerns. Environmental justice isn’t only the inclusion of all people to regulate environmental issues and topics, it is a social movement. The definition is purely a goal that must be made into reality. Personally, environmental justice is just a reminder of unpaved sidewalks, trash scattering the streets, toxic and contaminated drinking water, and several, if not hundreds of more negative but realistic ideas.

I am certain to say that environmental justice has now started gaining the recognition it deserves. Now, more than ever, it has been addressing the harmful and dangerous factors that specifically target colored and poor neighborhoods and communities. Although this is true, it remains a serious issue everywhere, including the state of Delaware. Delaware consists of several communities that face unnecessary environmental hazards that were put in place by the discriminatory policies of our governing bodies. Polluting and releasing harmful chemicals and waste in these vulnerable communities allow for private companies as well as the government to financially benefit from the action.

Pollution is well known to have been putting the planet in danger. Looking closer on the idea, it causes climate change and the problem of global warming. Chemicals and waste released by factories and companies do not just increase the global risk, but harm those living nearby. Climate activism is the people’s way of making change. In Delaware and many other places, climate action has been a movement to pressure the government and industry to take action and do something about climate change. A detrimental impact of our industry is that it continues to disregard many of the problems concerning this. Yes, change is slowly being made, but other problems remain to stay under the surface.

Environmental justice gives people more of a reason to fight against actions pertaining to climate change. It touches on several key elements that are problems and issues for the residents living in Delaware. Discrimination and injustice effects the land, resources, and people living in certain communities. Not only that, but it impacts us on a global scale. By becoming a defining element of climate activism in Delaware, environmental justice can apply pressure to change the environment, and diminish the unjust treatment towards people.

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