By Giselle Rodriguez
As a teen living in Chicago, we have not seen the floods and hurricanes that have greatly impacted the lives of many people across this nation, but they are important. Have you ever wondered who or what causes these sudden changes? Climate change is caused by human activities and greenhouse gases creating a blanket around the earth’s surface trapping in the sun’s warmth.
Acknowledging the issue globally with increased awareness and efforts by businesses and individuals is needed. Together BP gas, Microsoft, Amazon and other companies involved in the Business Environmental Leadership Council have adapted by using renewable energy sources (Business Environmental Leadership Council, 2018). This also helps the Earth, since America is globally considered to emit the largest amount of carbon emissions on a per person basis (Kimberly Amadeo September 26, 2018 ). We as individuals can help with this issue from home by essentially decreasing our energy use in transportation and conserving electricity.
One of On the Money’s partners and long-time supporter of our organization’s environmental and business education program at the Museum of Science & Industry during Money Smart Week, BMO Harris Bank, shared information about how they incorporate sustainability as a priority in their business practices. “BMO has been carbon neutral for the past eight years. We have maintained carbon neutrality by limiting emissions from energy use and other sources, investing in electricity from renewable energy sources, and purchasing locally based carbon credits. In the United States, 100% of the electricity used in facilities we operate is offset by renewable energy. BMO Harris Bank is a part of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program and made the “National Top 100” list in 2018.”
Kelly Deenton, a Senior Manager of Environmental Sustainability, suggested that students interested in sustainability that are entering the workforce consider, “Students can choose to specialize in sustainability or pursue a role in another field that combines sustainability with another skill (e.g., engineering, energy management, buildings / architecture, marketing, communications, accounting, etc.) Find a company that shares your core values and is already active in sustainability, and join their green team. Do internships. Network. Set up information interviews with professionals in the field.”
Climate change has been discussed for many years. When asking Neely Law, (Center for Watershed Protection) the biggest concern for the future of earth, she stated, “This is a hard question to answer as our climate, our earth, our economy, quality of life, public health, living and food resources are all interrelated and a change in one affects the other.” Therefore, although Chicago isn’t really prone to floods and hurricanes, climate change still takes has some impact on our lives. The little actions we partake in to decrease this issue now, can and will have a positive impact in decreasing the impact of climate change and increasing the well-being of ourselves and our planet for future generations to come.