Red sun a reminder of responsibility to reduce pollution


Photo courtesy / Sarah Vargas

The red sun and the dark clouds indicate that air pollution form the California wildfires had traveled to El Paso. Though we could do nothing about the situation at the time, we can make conscious choices daily to reduce the amount of pollution we produce.

Many of us noticed, as we looked at the sun during mid-September, that it appeared redframed by a gray sky.  According to Connor Dennhardt, a meteorologist for the National Weather Services, the discoloration of the sun and sky is not due to clouds, but to smoke from the wildfires in California and Oregon, which scatters the sun’s light. A report by The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states that wildfires release substantial toxic pollutants into the air, causing negative effects to air quality. We believe that the visible signs of pollution in our sky should serve as a warning: we need to do what we can to reduce the pollution in our environment. 

Students are not entirely blameless when it comes to pollution. While younger generations are not wholly responsible for pollution, we do contribute to it. Senior Zachary Courreges, president of Coronado’s environmental awareness initiative Seeds of Tomorrow, said that while students do contribute to pollution in various ways, we can also make an effort to reduce it. 

There are numerous simple ways for students to do their part in fighting pollution. First, don’t litter. According to Clean Water Action, 50% of pollution comes from fast food waste. Students returning from lunch should not throw trash on the ground.  There are trashcans all around campus, and there is never a reason to throw trash anywhere else. Students should also pick up trash whenever they see it. Coronado is a community, and we all have a responsibility to keep our environment clean. 

Another large source of pollution by students that Courreges cited was driving to school in cars, which produce 75% of carbon monoxide emissions according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In order to reduce air pollution from cars, students should carpool or use public transport whenever possible 

If we try our hardest to reduce the pollution caused by our activity, we can make Coronado, and the world, a healthier place for everyone.  

We may be tempted to be selfish, throwing our trash on the ground, or refusing to take the bus or carpool because it inconveniences us. We may think that one person cannot make a difference. However, every individual person must realize that the actions of everyone contribute to the whole. 

Students should remember, as they go about their daily lives, that what we do regarding our environment matters. Keep our school and community as clean as possible and try to reduce personal emissions. If we manage to do this,Th the world will thank us in the long run.