Your reusable straw won't save the world

Illustration by Madison Cohen

While saving the sea turtles is great, it’s time to focus on the real matter at hand. Your reusable straw isn’t going to change the destruction happening to this planet.

As The Gaurdian states, carpooling and shorter showers make a small impact when there are 100 companies responsible for 71% of greenhouse gas emissions, one of the leading causes of global warming. Your actions aren’t making as much of an impact as you think.

Earth isn’t self-destructing, it is human activity that is causing this planet’s turmoil. The Guardianclarifies that “ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron are identified among the highest emitting investor-owned companies since 1988.” These companies are profiting off the destruction of the planet. The companies above have come out with statements on how they plan to reduce their carbon footprint, but only time will tell the results.

According to an article from Acconia, a sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy company, the rising global average temperatures could lead to mass extinction of species and disrupt the world’s food production.

Climate change causes global temperatures to rise, which leads to ice caps melting, the sea level rising and many species’ habitats negatively impacted.

I want to be here for a while longer, and I want my children and grandchildren to enjoy their lives and not worry about the future of this planet. Changes need to be made now.

Those investing in these companies should steer away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy.

Investors have the chance to really make a change by driving their money out of fossil fuels. According to The Guardian article, “Apple, Facebook, Google and Ikea have committed to 100% renewable power under the RE100 initiative.” These companies could be a viable option for investors to reallocate their stock.

Another major contributing factor to the planet’s decline is ocean waste. According to Marine Bio, “The most toxic waste material dumped into the ocean includes dredged material, industrial waste, sewage sludge and radioactive waste.” This is affecting species habitats and destroying ecosystems worldwide.

One solution would be to put a stop to overfishing. The amount of waste dumped into the ocean due to fishing is damaging species and their habitats. Fish are being depleted at an alarming rate and need time to populate again. With the overfishing epidemic, they have less and less time to repopulate.

While there are laws to regulate ocean waste, there is still waste illegally dumped every single day. Fisheries need to advance their practices with sustainable tools. If they are going to dump waste into the ocean regardless of laws, these products should be biodegradable or edible to sea life.

There needs to be more awareness around the negligence of large corporations. News broadcasts should be reporting this and people should be posting about it.

There is no simple solution to the Earth’s salvation, but investments are a place to start. When investors move their money away from fossil fuels and the damaging seafood industry, it will be a step in the right direction.

This motion is far overdue, but if it doesn’t happen soon, the damage will only worsen. The clock is ticking. If these companies don’t modify their practices or if investors don’t reallocate their stock, time will run out.