Students search for sustainability

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Concerned individuals at Lincoln have been busy improving sustainability and reducing their eco-footprint.

Students, with the help of their teachers, are raising awareness of the harm citizens do to the Portland environment by starting clubs and making their voices heard. One of the issues students are working on is the fact that over 1.1 million marine animals die annually from plastic debris dumped by clueless individuals.

“One thing I’ve seen [at Lincoln] is how much students care about this issue,” said environmental justice teacher, Tim Swinehart. “This year, actually, [there was] some really great student activism in November to hold a rally here at Lincoln in support of the ballot major that passed here in Portland called the Portland Clean Energy Initiative.”

The Portland Clean Energy Initiative (PCEI) means $30 million in new annual revenue for clean energy and clean energy jobs in Portland,” according to PCEI’s website. “Nonprofit organizations… can apply for grants from this revenue to weatherize homes, install solar and other renewable energy projects, provide job and contractor training, expand local food production and build green infrastructure in Portland.”

Students from Lincoln are trying and succeeding in making a difference, showing it is possible to positively influence the environment.

“People would be surprised by certain things that actually have a great effect on the environment,” says environmentally aware freshman, Riley Cash. Cash is no stranger to the seemingly small things that have ‘hidden’ impacts on the community, like meat eating.

According to the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) website, “Nearly half of all the water used in the United States goes toward raising animals for food. Here’s proof that meat wastes water: It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce just 1 pound of meat. Only 25 gallons of water are required to grow 1 pound of wheat.”

Lincoln knows the effects of disregarding its ecosystem and is doing something about it. Lincoln is just one of the many environmentally aware schools, and the number is growing. Swinehart says “[Students] are capable of making change in the world.