info@delawareipl.org (405) 714-7612

Siena Farka

Sussex Academy

Youth Climate Action

 

As the population of Sussex County Delaware increases, roads are expanded, forests are cleared for development, and more people travel to vacation at their new summer homes. Urban expansion directly correlates with climate change; more housing results in a local increase in energy usage which comes from burning fossil fuels, releasing pollutants. As more energy is being used in homes and machinery, carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. Habitats such as wetlands, fields, and forests are being removed, reducing the number of carbon sinks. Without any change in human behavior, the extent of climate change will continue to increase and will be detrimental to the future. It is vital for not just Delaware’s youth, but children across the globe to come together and be the voice of change.

 

One of the best ways for youth to advocate and ultimately create solutions to reduce climate change is through educating those around them. Within my community, I’ve seen and taken part in multiple events that advocate education for environmental issues and discuss actions that make a difference. In April, my school club created an Earth Day event at our local elementary school that taught children and their parents about the importance of the environment, issues that threaten it, and solutions that help reduce our ecological footprint. One of the topics discussed was climate change, with one of the changes being composting. It is relatively cheap and easy for families to compost organic waste instead of putting it into landfills. In landfills, the food scraps and yard trimmings release methane, a greenhouse gas with a higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide. With the compost made, families can use it in gardens, ultimately saving money and improving the health of the soil. Education that creates simple lifestyle changes builds the foundation for immense results.

 

When researching climate change, many people experience climate anxiety in which they feel powerless. Some of the biggest polluters are the big, mainstream companies and governments. On a singular-person level, people, especially the youth, may start to feel like they can’t do anything and their actions hold no weight since they are one person out of billions. If that singular person advocates for the future and educates those around them, others will start to join the movement and create change for not only Delaware but the whole planet.