Misconceptions of Environmental Activism

Olivia Burns, Writer

Environmental activism is very important, but it is becoming more of a trend to be superficially environmentally active without confronting the underlying political issues contributing to climate change or choosing methods to be more sustainable that would have the most impact. Environmental activism that is more effective like forgoing fast fashion, conserving energy, and forgoing food and products that cause harm to the environment are actual ways to combat this issue, but there is not enough focus on these methods in popular culture.
Environmental activism has had many achievements over the past few years. Many vegan products are now very popular alternatives to regular products. Additionally, thanks to activists, many changes in climate policy have come about.Big corporations and governments have started to take notice of what the citizens want. They have tried to help those suffering from climate change, even as recent as combating the Australian wildfires.
Despite the advancements that activists have made, there are some common misconceptions as to what the most important issues society should take note of are. There is a misconception that getting rid of plastic straws will make a noticeable impact on the planet. Plastic straws make up a much smaller percentage of the plastic in the ocean than plastic fishing nets. These fishing nets get unhooked from ships and sink in the ocean, causing ocean animals to get tangled and die. The ban on plastic straws causes an impact that is barely noticeable in comparison to what a boycott on the industrial fishing industry would cause. Ironically, alternatives to plastic straws can often be bad for the planet and harmful for people with disabilities. People with disabilities often need plastic straws to eat and drink. Most sustainable alternatives are impossible and even dangerous for those with mobile disabilities to use.
Those only interested in superficial climate activism often ignore the underlying political issues involved in climate policy. They also tend to ignore other political issues, which can frustrate others truly involved in activism. All of these problems can be solved by working to make climate activism more accessible and welcoming to those less knowledgeable, and helping them discern the futile fads to the changes that can make a real difference for the future of our planet.

Works Cited
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/08/16/plastic-straw-alternatives-often-bad-planet-people-disabilities/1761397001/

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