Vail Daily letter: Time for action
Global warming sucks — just ask the polar bears. Average temperatures in some parts of the world have increased 4-7 degrees Fahrenheit in the past 50 years. According to the EPA, 2000-2010 was the warmest decade on record. In addition to the warmest decade on record, we are experiencing more intense storms and more severe droughts.
Being a ski academy student, our school relies on a consistent climate in order to continue competition in winter sports just as this valley relies on it for economic stability. With this in mind we decided it was time to take initiative to help slow the effects of climate change. The Shane McConkey Eco Challenge is a group that challenges kids to get involved in making the environment a better place for everyone to live in. As a group we decided we wanted to reduce the amount of food waste that comes out of our kitchen because of its high CO2 output. Currently in society our CO2 production is too high, food waste alone accounts for 1.6 gigatons of CO2 emissions per year and if it were a country its annual CO2 output would be third in the world behind the United States and China. However, with this in mind, we as a school can make a difference.
There was such an immense amount of food waste coming out of our kitchen, so we set up a method to measure the amount of food we waste per school week, month and year. With that food waste we can measure the amount of CO2 emissions that comes from the lunch room. From there we are able to put limits on the amount of food we cook, in order to prevent more food waste than necessary. To track the amount of food we are wasting we created three bins to put in the lunch room: Trash, recycling and compost. We are working together with a local company that has generously offered to take our compost to a facility in Breckenridge for free.
In order to be more sustainable in your life you can organize how you eat your food so you waste no food. A study done by the FAO shows how one-third of the food produced in the world is wasted, “which amounts to 1.3 billion tons per year” (FAO.org). Instead of buying unnecessary food, we can budget how much food we buy. Because often we purchase food that sits in the back of the refrigerator until it expires, which then gets thrown away.
Some people do not believe in climate change and think it is a natural process. But according to the IPCC, scientists are 95 percent certain that climate change is real. Regardless, we should make a conscious effort to ensure that our grandchildren and great grandchildren get to live in the same Vail Valley as we do now.
Student, Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy