VSCO girls make saving the environment popular again: We should try that


Emily Lotito

Phone apps of a typical VSCO girl

by Emily Lotito, Editor

VSCO girls are known for their stereotypical Hydro Flasks, metal straws, and puka shells. They wear baggy shirts, scrunchies, and millions of friendship bracelets. But after all the “oops” and “sksksk,” they might be onto something. 

Their most familiar exclamation is “Save the turtles.” Their love of  metal straws helps to save turtles and other marine life because they marine life tries to eat plastic bags, straws and other trash. Straws can get in turtles’ noses and suffocate them. 

More companies, like Starbucks and McDonalds are making and selling metal or paper straws in response to the rising concern about plastics.  More of us should be like VSCO girls, openly supporting environmental protection (sorry about that).

Our parents and grandparents have witnessed the biggest effects of climate change. Mrs. Beth Ericsson, science teacher, talked about how she sees the change happen before her eyes.

“You could go to Pittsburgh and see the smog in the air. Now it’s somewhat better, but people with asthma will still have trouble breathing there because it’s still so bad.”

Today, most students say that climate change is their biggest fear. The Washington Post wrote about the teens channeling their “anxieties into activism.” Teens from all over the country walked out of their classrooms, and some traveled to New York City to protest climate change on September 20. 

“Fear is a commodity we don’t have time for if we’re going to to win the fight,” 16 year-old Maryland student Madeline Graham, one organizer of the protest, said to reporters.

Well known activist, Greta Thunberg was also at the protest. She walked around with the students and even spoke at the United Nations. Thunberg has made it her mission for politicians to recognize that climate change is putting the earth in a corner and there must be immediate change. She believes that it is not our generation’s job to “fix” climate change; this is a politician’s job.

“The young people are starting to see your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say, we will never forgive you,” Thunberg said in front of the United Nations.

If we can’t get politics to change, we can start with our own behaviors.

It’s time to act with your wallet and simple apps that can promote changing your daily behavior.

Well known companies are following the trend in recycling to make more durable, recycle friendly products. Students should consider supporting companies that make the world better. The more we make smart purchases, the more companies will change for the consumers.  

Adidas partnered with Parley, a company that raises awareness for the ocean. Adidas and Parley have designed a few different styles of shoes that are made from recycled ocean plastic. The plastic is turned into functional shoes for running and workouts. 

Patagonia has been using recycled polyester since 1993. Patagonia realized that the clothing industry was becoming wasteful so they created started using recycled and unusable goods to create their clothing. 

Patagonia even has a page about how to recycle their clothes so they can be recycled into new items.

“Companies are trying to get their companies more ‘clean’ but that’s only a start on how to help climate change” said Ericsson.

A second way to make change is in your household.  Be aware of your behaviors every day. There are several apps for that.

Earth911 came out with an app for the iPhone so there are easy ways to find local convenient recycling drop-offs. The app, iRecycle, gives its users over 1.6 million ways to recycle 350 materials in the United States. The app has 13 categorizes to find where your product is filed under. Everything from automotive, electronics, hazardous items, and even plastic, there is a folder for you to choose. 

When you first download the app, iRecycle asks if they can access your locations while using the app. Then you can choose whatever category you want which will lead you to a list of items. For example, under the category for batteries, it presents an alphabetical list of all the types of batteries sold in the United States. Once you find your type of batteries, it will direct you to a business that collects the batteries and recycles them for you. This app makes it easier and healthier to get rid of your items.

If everyone decided to use this app, it would limit the amount of trash that could have been recycled. 

My generation is seeing the worst climate change. We see the activists speaking out and the politicians making unkept promises.  Change has to begin with you and me.