Category Archives: News

The Climate crisis: what can you do?

Writer: Dani Barnard

Why is it important to educate yourself on the environment?

We only have one planet! With the technology and knowledge we have today, environmental concerns should be a priority. Not only is the planet in danger, but so is biodiversity (the variety of life in the world).

So, what can you do?

Start with the basics: The 4 R’s

  1. Reduce your consumption. Reducing your overall consumption is the first step in becoming more eco-friendly and sustainable. The US is the most wasteful country in the world with a “up to 239 million tons [of waste produced] annually” 1.
  2. Reuse. Did your food come in a plastic container? Did your jam come in a glass jar? Clean them out and use them again, increase their lifespan and reduce the waste you contribute to landfills. 
  3. Recycle. To be honest, we do not have a great recycling system in GA and we usually have to pay more money to have a recycling bin. If you are unable to recycle at your home, the Sandy Springs Recycling center accepts all types of recyclable materials and more! (Click here for a link to see what items they accept)
  4. Rot. You may not have heard of this one before but it is equally as important. “According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 20 percent of what goes into municipal landfills is food.”2 Food is the largest contributor of waste in US landfills. To reduce your food waste, start a compost bin. If you have a garden, compost can enrich your soil. If not, you can drop off your composting at the Wylde Center in Decatur, or at any of their community gardens around Atlanta. To ensure it doesn’t attract bugs or produce a smell, you can store your compost in the freezer.

5 more ways to reduce your impact & combat climate change:

  1. Vote! Voting is one of the most important ways to combat the climate crisis by electing the right people to create laws and regulations to hold everyone accountable.
  2. Stop supporting fast fashion brands and reduce your consumption of fast fashion. Fast fashion is the second most polluting industry as “about 85 percent of textile waste in the United States goes to landfills or is incinerated”3.
  3. Support local farms and businesses – go to the farmer’s market!
  4. Try to reduce your consumption of animal products by incorporating: Meatless Mondays, or more plant-based meals in your daily life. “The biggest intervention people could make towards reducing their carbon footprints would not be to abandon cars, but to eat significantly less red meat”4.
How Does the Carbon Footprint of Protein-Rich Foods Compare?
  1. Plant a tree or donate to organizations like https://onetreeplanted.org/. Trees, natural climate solutions, are the most simple way to take CO2 and greenhouse gasses out of the air and produce more oxygen.

“We need to Protect, Restore, and Fund” – Greta Thunberg

Climate solutions do not end here, please continue your research and use the resources below to learn more:

Websites/Articles:

Videos: 

Sources:

  1. https://www.nrdc.org/onearth/united-states-most-wasteful-country-world

2. https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/11/17/364172105/to-end-food-waste-change-needs-to-begin-at-home

3. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/03/books/review/how-fast-fashion-is-destroying-the-planet.html

4. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/21/giving-up-beef-reduce-carbon-footprint-more-than-cars

Bringing the black lives matter movement to riverwood

Writers: Aolani Vann and Nyla Ward

What’s happening and why should it matter to you? 

Every day, African Americans face harsh discrimination and police brutality in a gruesome fight for our rights just to be alive. The systems that promise to protect us are the same sentencing us to death before we get a chance to defend ourselves. Since this pandemic started, and the tragic death of George Floyd, the Black community and allies have used all platforms to fight for justice, spread love, and correct misinformation and slander, now more than we ever could before. We call for all students of Riverwood to do the same, use your voices, and take a stand. 

What are youth doing now and why is it important? 

Three teens from Katy, Texas, raised from 3 different ethnic backgrounds, created an activism group named Katy4Justice fighting for the Black Lives Matter movement. In 4 days, they got most of the youth in their town to join and organize a protest to bring justice to George Floyd. This was a beautiful example of looking past differences and cultural and political adversities to come together to do the right thing. This was especially heartwarming for 16-year-old Foyin Dosunmu, one of the original 3 students, and born to 2 Nigerian traveling engineers. She explained that growing up in schools full of only Arab or white students, it was important for her to feel like her voice was heard and people understood her struggle. It is so important to listen to the struggles of your friends and hear what they need because often our voices are looked over and diminished because of what society thinks of us. The youth must take the movement into our own hands because we are the future and the strongest generation yet. 

Young actress, Yara Shahidi created a summit called Eighteenx18 because youth deserve to understand what is happening in politics before going into the polls. She then founded the WeVoteNext organization to focus on informing eligible voters of the importance of voting as much as they can, knowing their rights, and controversial current political issues. She is also an outspoken activist when it comes to major issues in the Black Lives Matter movement. She’s petitioned for subjects like properly treating black Covid-19 patients, defunding the police, and implementing more money into the healthcare and quality of living in the black community. She is now only 20 years old and working with advocates like Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. She is proof we can use any influence we have to grow support and speak out about what is important to us. 

Sources: The New York Times 

WeVoteNext 

Kayhan Life 

What can you do? 

The first step is communication and keeping up with what youth in the black community are already doing for the cause and giving them a helping hand. It is vital to make sure we are all heard in an organized, peaceful manner. 

The second step is to filter out media and influencers with false information or negative biases on the movement and seek out primary sources or secondary sources with proven facts. This is a real organization, not an angry collection of riots as some sites may portray. 

Thirdly, you must educate yourself, sign petitions, join protests and donate if you can, create flyers or posters, spread the word on social media, and encourage people to get out there and VOTE!!! We need as much support as we can get which includes that of people in positions of power. 

Additionally, you also have the power to create organizations, fundraisers, and protests yourself to be even more hands-on in your activism journey. You have more power than you may think. 

Here are some more sources for more information and resources for other issues: 

0:00 https://blacklivesmatter.com/ 

1:00 https://marchforourlives.com/ 

2:00 https://www.change.org/t/black-lives-matter-en-us 

3:00 https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/ 

4:00 https://sites.google.com/view/black-lives-matter-masterlist/petitions?authuser=0 

5:00 https://www.futurelearn.com/info/blog/black-lives-matter-resources 

6:00 https://neaedjustice.org/black-lives-matter-school-resources/ 

7:00 https://libwww.freelibrary.org/explore/topic/black-lives-matter 

8:00 https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMJmnMDFt/ 

…and 46 seconds to save a life 

Remember that you have power in your words and power in your individual opinions. Use that to support your peers and create greatness. Each of the students of Riverwood has the privileges and resources to create our own chapter of this movement. This is not the time to pick fights, make excuses, or stay ignorant. It is the opportunity to do actively and consistently what you know is right. 

After reading this article please take the time out to consider our message and take this survey so we know where you stand on this.  

Remember your voice always matters especially when you’re using it for good: 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdDTgEPRcl9kZKiAxrLx4cWJlcUrBxcMFqcez-Q4GEoB4dqtw/viewform?usp=sf_link