In light of Earth Day, I want to turn Rider’s attention to the grim reality of our mother earth. In October, The Washington Post declared the world has less than 10 years to get climate change under control, predicted by United Nations scientists. I recalled being told all my life the importance of the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle and to follow the infamous “do not litter” rule in order to keep our planet clean. We learned about our precious planet and oceans as well as the living organisms who inhabit it in biology classrooms.
With the influx of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and plastic in our oceans, the planet’s problems are in desperate need of more concrete exposure. Luckily, many celebrities are aware of the unpredictable dangers of climate change and are taking advantage of their platforms to potentially be a part of the change.
Singer Willow Smith has recently collaborated with Adidas to release a 100 percent recyclable sneaker called Futurecraft Loop. This isn’t Adidas’ first initiative to jumpstart sustainability innovations.
“In 2015, the company partnered with Parley for the Oceans to create shoes whose uppers were made entirely of yarns and filaments reclaimed and recycled from marine plastic waste and illegal deep-sea gillnets,” said Treehugger.com. This year, Adidas will “produce 11 million pairs of these wonderfully ‘trashy’ shoes through intercepting plastic waste on beaches, remote islands and in coastal communities.”
“This is the turning point for plastic. To minimize waste and multiply the lives of our materials. This is our first sports shoe that’s made to be remade. Futurecraft LOOP,” said Adidas via Twitter.
Adidas said the shoes were “the beginning to the end of waste” and they are set to be released in 2021.
Willow Smith is not the only Smith generating change through sustainability. Her older brother, Jaden Smith, has teamed up with their father Will Smith in creating a water bottle that is made up of 80 percent renewable resources containing zero plastic. Jaden Smith’s Just Water was originally 50 percent renewable with the bottle being made of paper until replacing it with sugarcane.
“The environmental crisis is a problem of the youth and the youth is going to be the one who has to heal this problem,” said Jaden Smith.
Actress Zazie Beetz partnered with New York City council members to pass a historic retrofit bill called the Dirty Buildings Bill that will help polluting buildings go green and cut New York City’s emissions by 40 percent. Real estate is the cause of 70 percent of New York’s emissions and only two percent of those buildings create half of all the city’s pollution, according to Beetz.
With only 100 companies responsible for 71 percent of global emissions, according to The Guardian, a small number of fossil fuel producers as well as investors can be the solution in seizing climate change.
“This is the most radical legislation regarding housing emissions to be passed in the world. The climate crisis affects the poor, minority communities and the disenfranchised the most. So, let’s get together and hold those accountable. Including ourselves,” said Beetz.
In recent years, climate change has become more politicized and divisive in the United States. Other countries around the world seem to acknowledge the catastrophic consequences that can result in lack of action. The topic gained a lot of attention during former President Obama’s last term when he stated, “99.5 percent of scientists and experts [and] 99 percent of world leaders agree human-caused climate change needs to be reckoned with,” with some Republicans calling it a “hoax.”
“While the world is in turmoil and falling apart in so many different ways especially with ISIS, our President is worried global warming — what a ridiculous situation,” then-GOP frontrunner Donald Trump said in a video post on Instagram in 2015.
From model Luka Sabbat’s Evian hashtag #flipitforgood initiative to prevent plastic in oceans, to Game of Thrones actor Jason Momoa shaving his beard in solidarity to bring awareness to reducing plastic usage and utilizing aluminum, our generation has the ability and the knowledge to make a difference on our planet that is currently dying. We are witnessing firsthand the abnormal intensity and frequency of natural disasters taking place internationally. Now that we are of age to vote, we can emphasize this crisis and take it into our own hands.
Follow the science.