Written by Nicholas Rubino | Edited and Published by Thomas Baker | Photos by Nicholas Rubino
Picture this: a beautiful landscape filled with an array of trees, brush, and flowers as far as the eye can see. A stream flowing with newts, tadpoles, and native fish swimming to their heart’s contempt. A meadow with a herd of deer grazing ever so peacefully, seemingly undaunted by anything around. The wind is blowing with the faint sounds of birds chirping and frogs croaking, simply bringing some sense of ease to your soul. You can feel the sunlight hit your face and the uncut grass brush against your feet as you walk the untouched land.
Now reality hits. The once beatiful landscape is being ravaged for its resources and minerals and used to build houses, stores and highways. All those peaceful animals and insects have been forced to relocate and find new ways to survive and find food. All the unique aquatic life that lived in the streams now gasps to breathe as toxins from factories that spill into their home. All of the beautiful flowers and plants that once thrived in their natural habitat, now struggle to find an open crack to grow in some abandoned parking lot. The sun is no longer able to penetrate the thick smog as factories overrun these lands, and the grass no longer brushes against you as it has been suppressed by pounds of concrete that now form a sidewalk.
There is hope. As a community, we need to set aside our differences and focus on setting things right for the future. That all begins with educating the uneducated, informing the uninformed and coming together as one to fix a problem that is bigger than us.
At The Morgan School, we are incredibly lucky to have a class dedicated to teaching about the harmful things that are happening to the environment. This class is called ECE Environmental Science, and it’s a UConn course you have to enroll online to take. Environmental Science needs to be a required class in high school. People need to understand and be aware of the effects of their actions on the environment. The environment can have so many meanings or values but to me, it’s the natural world, as a whole or in a particular area, especially as affected by human activity. Everyone in the world affects the environment, whether it be a park or just their own backyard. I believe here at Morgan we need to do our part to make sure we educate our students on how to help our environment and how to prevent any more harm to it as well.
As students here at Morgan, we all have had some connection to the environment in our lives. Many students may recall the spectacular week in nature’s classroom during our 6th-grade year. If my memory serves me correctly, it was a week that we were sent off to some camp to enjoy nature and to get more familiar with our classmates. Personally, I can’t even remember how many pictures I took when we went outside on a walk or to hike up a mountain. I took so many. I was so engulfed in the beauty of the “somewhat” untouched nature around me. It was a taste of what used to be.
Just to think that all those memories and pictures will just be a thing of the past if our society as a whole doesn’t change its ways. The world is slowly dying and most of our society doesn’t even care or is scared to tackle such a problem. We’ve lost half the world’s wetlands since the 1900s, and the garbage dumped in the ocean every year is roughly around 14 billion pounds. Plastic is the major constituent. Using less plastic and discarding plastic waste correctly could mean the difference between 30 more years and 100.
Environmental Science does require some amount of effort and will definitely not be a walk in the park. Taking this course will provide the students with valuable life lessons that will help even our own communities and environment for the future. I do understand that not all people love the outdoors as much as I do, but we all need to know just how important our actions are to the environment.
Taking control of what is happening is a lot easier than it seems, and doing so won’t at all change the way you live entirely. Some simple things that you can do every day are 1. Use reusable water bottles whenever you drink water. 2. Make sure that your waste is going in the right place, like plastics and papers go to recycling. Finally 3. If you see any garbage on the ground make sure you try and pick it up if you can. Just by doing these simple things you will make our environment healthier and the world a safer and more eco friendly place to live.