The case for protecting the natural world

Spring 2023 Edition

Recently the Biden administration approved the Willow Project, an oil-drilling initiative that could possibly destroy Alaska’s natural resources. The project, facilitated by Houston-based energy company ConocoPhillips, plans on drilling into Alaska’s North Slope to obtain high levels of petroleum and has sparked a series of debates about protecting the environment. While state legislatures in Alaska claim the Willow Project will create new job opportunities and create a stable oil supply, Alaska Natives are afraid that the project will cause health and environmental problems and endanger the wildlife that calls Alaska home.
Climate change and protecting the environment are two hot topics among our generation. After decades of initiatives that saw detrimental effects to the natural world, we are understanding that we can reverse the wrongdoings of previous efforts of destroying the environment to obtain natural resources. We are the generation that created environment activists such as Greta Thunberg, and young people like her have made us realize how important protecting the natural world is, leading us to become one of the most environmentally conscious generations in decades.
We have a club here at Mepham that raises awareness to combat climate change and preserve our natural world: We Mean Green, our environmental club. Advised by science teacher Ms. Conte, We Mean Green engages in weekly activities to make our school population more well-versed when it comes to the dangers being posed to our environment. Such activities include weekly recycling pickup, creating bird feeders out of plastic bottles, and selling succulents to raise money for environment protection organizations.
Just recently, We Mean Green hosted a school-wide seed bomb making event that had an excellent turnout. Those who attended the exciting event learned about the climate change crisis and how it has affected the biodiversity of Long Island, then were put to the task of creating seed bombs. Our environmental club supplied a mixture of dirt, clay, and seeds to roll into shapes, colorful powder to give the seed bombs fun colors, and bags to transport the seed bombs home to be planted.
The club also has an Instagram page where they post infographics and informative TikToks to appeal to us, a younger generation with a vested interest in saving the once-dying environment. As a generation brought up on social media, we are so inclined to share whatever is on our mind online. With the rise of teen activism, especially around the topic of environmentalism, we are free to speak our mind and share our thoughts on crises including the Willow Project. We, a young media literate group in a democratic nation, are allowed to raise awareness for the topics we’re most passionate about, especially raising awareness for one of the topics that matters most to many teens: the environment.