by Nina Sidhu '19, Milton Academy
On March 24, 2018, I participated in the March for our Lives, a nationwide rally fighting against gun violence. At the rally in Boston, I was stunned by the sheer number of young people present. I have become acutely aware of the power of our voices and the need for social movements to further our cause. My cause is sustainability. Our lives and the lives of generations to come depend on all of us preserving, protecting, and sustaining the resources available on our planet. In this vein, I recommend the use of social media to minimize the impact on our planet while still having the ability to reach hundreds of thousands of engaged youth.
Many think we are the entitled, lazy, no-good, addicted-to-our-handheld-devices generation, but in fact, because of our devices, we have access to more information and have more power than ever before. Social media has changed how we learn and how we share information. For a movement to raise awareness for sustainability, nothing can compare to social media as a means to disseminate information. By using social media, no paper will be used to create flyers or banners, no gasoline used to gather groups in a rally, and none of the earth’s resources required to set up the rally’s staging area. Hundreds of thousands of youth can be reached through social media without causing any unnecessary waste.
I suggest using a pyramid method in reaching environmentally-friendly youth around the country, with the goal to respect people’s privacy and willingness to participate. Once young leaders in sustainability movements are identified, these leaders can be further educated then pass on our message to the second tier of leaders and so on. Through this method, personal connections are maintained and with that, integrity and respect for individuals. The message needs to be clear and straightforward with an emphasis on the urgency for action.
The need for sustainability is s evident to me. I have spent enough time in Beijing and Delhi to know that clean air is not something to take for granted. It is my mission to create awareness and promote the urgent need for more and better sustainable choices in our daily lives. By seeing the impact of our current choices, I will create awareness for the need for a more sustainable future. As the movement grows, my next effort will be to blast our established social media chain with suggestions and simple changes that can have a lasting impact on earth’s resources.
In my opinion, social media is the perfect forum to create a compelling social movement about the importance of sustainability. My cause is protecting our environment and sustaining Earth’s resources. America’s youth has a powerful voice, and social media is a powerful tool.