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Redwood Bark

FDA approves Opill; The lens into the world of reproductive rights
Hailey Carlton and Annie BurlingameMay 16, 2024

From IUDs to Depo-Provera shots, and to the original pill (Plan-B), birth control has evolved substantially since its debut in May of 1950....

Photo Essay: Students celebrate the fifth annual Wellness Festival
Photo Essay: Students celebrate the fifth annual Wellness Festival
Lauren OlsenMay 12, 2024

  On Saturday, May 11, the Marin County Youth Commision (MCYC) hosted their fifth annual Wellness Festival for middle school and...

The Giants won their first MCAL banner since 2018.
Back at the top: Boys’ varsity baseball knocks off San Marin to claim MCAL banner
Gil Ladetzky and Hayden DonehowerMay 11, 2024

As the boys’ varsity baseball team entered the 2024 Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) championship game against San Marin, the bitter...

Organic tampons won’t stop the acid rain

Since 1988, just 100 companies have been responsible for 70 percent of carbon emissions. Multinational corporations make billions in profits off of misplaced climate anxiety of consumers. Why put vast resources into research on reducing their own carbon footprint when that responsibility (and price tag) could be passed onto their customers and the public at large? Every individual choice made by each person is a mere drop in the ocean, and cannot be compared to the real change that could be enacted if companies worth billions of dollars cleaned up after themselves. By offsetting the blame for climate change onto consumerism, companies can quietly continue to rack up both profits and emissions.

Capitalism encourages companies to make as much money as possible, regardless of the consequences. Take Volkswagen as a prime example. In 2014, instead of actually making their engines more efficient to meet regulations, they installed software into their cars that would switch from the normal, less efficient system, to the ‘better’ one only during smog tests. Smog tests are designed to measure how much pollution a given car gives off. By cheating the tests, Volkswagen purposefully avoided building greener cars while still advertising them as such. As much as they claim to care about the environment, multinational companies tend to care more about the rise and fall of their stock prices than carbon emission levels. By allowing ourselves to think we are personally responsible for the environment, we let the richest and most powerful among us off the hook. 

Additionally, expecting consumers to take both the moral and financial burden of buying “greener” products is both reductive and disregards the reality that buying sustainable goods is simply not accessible to people on a budget. According to the research center, Kearney, sustainable products cost on average 75-80 percent more than their conventional counterparts. If that figure seems staggering to you, clearly you haven’t gone into Good Earth in a while. Organic and sustainable products are just more expensive. This applies across the board, not to just clothes or cars. While tampons are essential goods, organic ones are a luxury, only accessible to the wealthy. Thus, how large one’s carbon footprint is is not exactly a choice for most, and making consumers feel obligated to save the environment singlehandedly is both ethically and economically dubious. 

So if it is not your job to single-handedly protect our planet, what should you do to address your own climate role? What can be done? A local climate activist and senior at Marin Academy, Finn Does, believes that individual action is important, but the collective action of many is what makes actual change, specifically in the political sector. 

“I believe voting is how we’re going to tackle the climate crisis, through policy and governmental changes.If you care about environmental issues, you should definitely go to the polls,” Does said. 

None of this is to say that any is recused of any responsibility for their own carbon footprint, as there are still ways you individually can have a real impact. For example, please, for the love of god, do not litter. You should still ride your bike places if possible, and be considerate of your environmental actions. However, you shouldn’t sweat it if you aren’t buying organic tampons or hate paper straws. It’s on companies like Amazon to protect the Amazon. 

 

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About the Contributor
Mia Ginsburg
Mia Ginsburg, Copy Editor
Mia is a senior at Redwood High School and she is a copy editor of the Bark.  In her free time she enjoys hiking, climbing and spending time with her friends.