Sustainability Spotlight: The Connection Between Social Justice and Climate Change

By: the Parent Sustainability Committee
Many of us do not realize that there is a direct connection between climate change and social justice, and that we must look the bigger picture when doing our part to be sustainable.

Environmental hazards are inequitably distributed in the United States and the world as a whole, with lower income communities and people of color, bearing the greater share of environmental danger than those living in predominantly white communities with higher incomes. We do not need to look far for examples of these injustices: half of what is burned in the Covanta incinerator in Newark, NJ, for example, consists of trash from New York City, causing disproportionately high rates of asthma in the Ironbound community.

The waste we produce, from the moment products are manufactured and transported to when we thoughtlessly throw items in the trashoften after just a single use, results in a range of environmental injustices affecting exceedingly disproportionately marginalized people.

There is much to be done to reverse the path of climate change on a grander scale, starting with government and corporate policies. As individuals, it is our responsibility to care for our communityby considering the large scale effects of our individual actions, raising awareness, and calling for collective action. We can serve as change agents by altering our own consumption patterns and inspiring others to do the same, and by pressuring public and corporate officials to change policies, which would have the most significant impact.
 
If you are interested in joining the MCS Sustainability Committee, please email  mcssustainabilitycommittee@gmail.com.

Sources: 
The New Yorker, "Where We Stand on Climate"  
 

 
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