Environmental Science Should be a Requirement in our Education System

During my junior year of high school, I took AP Environmental Science and it changed my view on the amount of responsibility I have toward the condition of our planet. One thing my teacher always mentioned, is that for the AP Exam, on the FRQ, Free Response Question, if you can’t think of an answer, you can always write that “we can educate.”

For example, if the question asks “How can we reduce the amount of smog in our metropolitan cities?” and a student can’t think of an answer, the best way to try and get some points on the exam is to write “Require schools in these metropolitan areas to have an environmental science education, to create a more educated society that will work toward fixing the issue” which will encourage them to “work in a field specialized in combating this issue.”

We are currently in this exact predicament. A lot of us don’t know what to do. We see headlines such as “Only 11 Years Left to Prevent Irreversible Damage from Climate Change” or “Amazon Fires: Almost 4,000 new blazes started across Brazil in 48 after ban on burning forest land” and naturally, we panic. Sometimes that panic isn’t accompanied by action, and that’s what a required environmental science education will change.

Having Environmental Science as a requirement in our education system will birth a more educated, environmentally conscious society that actively works toward a sustainable planet. Without AP Environmental, I would not have known the consumption of beef is a huge factor to climate change, world hunger, and excessive water usage, causing me to drastically reduce my consumption of beef. Or that Nutella, Girl Scout Cookies, and lots of everyday packaged snacks contain palm oil, responsible for rapid deforestation of the lush forests, which intensifies the amount of carbon in our atmosphere, leading to climate change. This also degrades the living conditions for orangutans and pygmy elephants, leading to their extinction.

The biggest take away from AP Environmental is that we can all do something. If you cannot afford a plant-based diet financially, and or time wise, invest in a reusable water bottle to combat the large amount of plastic in our landfills. Can’t afford an electric vehicle? Make sure to turn off all lights when no one is home.

Open windows when it is bright rather than turning on lights. Our planet is on the brink of irreversible damage that will not be habitable for the human race. For the benefit of now, and future generations we must educate those around us on what can be done for a more sustainable planet.

Jade Ravare

Culver City High School

Class of 2020


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