(Editor’s Note: This is the first grouping of letters written by Escalon High School students as part of a class exercise, dealing with timely topics and issues of concern. The Times will run a few letters each week during November.)
Cut Down On Plastic Pollution
I believe plastic is becoming a major problem for our oceans and the animals living in it today. Oceans are vital to human health; providing jobs, enjoyment, and food to billions of people all around the world. But this won’t be the case if people continue to use plastic. It is estimated that up to 12 million metric tons of plastic ends up in our oceans each year. That is calculated to a truckload of trash per minute. Our oceans are slowly turning into something we could have never imagined. All of this plastic going into the ocean floats at the surface, being more visible to the ocean life. Most of the ocean animals mistake the plastic for food and ingest, suffocate, drown, or become entangled in it.
Plastic is one of the main causes of death for ocean life. Thousands of seabirds, sea turtles, seals, and many other marine mammals are killed each year after ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic. The problem is, plastic is one of our main packaging sources, providing us with the stuff we use everyday. But most plastic we use is used one time before we just throw it away. Once the plastic ends up in the oceans, it doesn’t break down on its own, it is there until a seat animal finds it as food. If we don’t take care of this problem now, then it is slowly going to get worse and worse and plastic could soon enough destroy our oceans and eventually take everything else out with it. We can change our oceans and the amount of plastic entering them each year by limiting the amount of plastic we use. You can start by using a reusable water bottle, reusable containers, and recycle whenever possible. You can even make a contribution by joining a local organization in cleaning up the beaches or with any trash you see lying on the ground, pick it up and throw it away. You don’t always have to donate money to make a change, all you have to do is donate a little bit of your time in cleaning up the beaches. We also need to remember that we want to create a better future for those we care about and in order to do that, we need healthy oceans. Which are a base to living a healthy life. We can make this happen by preventing plastic from ending up in our oceans.
Call For Smaller Vehicles
The state should allow us to drive dirt bikes, ATVs, and also side-by-sides on the road. They should allow it because not many people have the money to maintain their vehicles they own. Dirt bikes, ATVs and side-by-sides are cheaper, fuel costs less to fill the tank and that means less fuel being used, and they also use less oil than cars. Tires also cost cheaper than cars and trucks. There would be less pollution in the air because they are smaller engines so they would produce less harmful chemicals in the air. There would be more space on the roads and there would be less oil being used on the motors. We could fix this by spreading the word so we could get enough signatures so it could be passed as a law.
Rotting In Prison
The death penalty in California should ultimately be eliminated. Murderers should be isolated in prison. They should have no access to do anything or have free time, and they should have no capability to talk to anyone. It is currently a problem, because people will be on death row for twenty to thirty years and nothing is done. The victim or victims’ families think the murderer is going to be killed, but never is. They have high hopes of the murderer being killed, but they never are. They remain on death row for their whole lives. This could be solved if the death penalty was eliminated all together and the killers had to rot in prison. They should be separated from all prisoners. In the long run, the purpose would be they have to rot away in prison. They should have to think about how they ruined a person’s life. If they are by themselves, then the killer’s actions would eat away at what they did to a person and their family for the rest of their life, until they die of natural causes in isolation.
Stop The Texting
Texting while driving is one of the top causes for car accidents. We unconsciously pick up our phone just to read that one text message or answer a call, thinking nothing will happen. We are not only putting our own lives a risk, but also the people around us. We share the road with other drivers, so we should all follow the same rules. Fortunately to the technology that we have today, we have hands-free apps that do not require us to hold our devices. But even with this beneficial source, people still manage to text while driving. Although we cannot force others to not use their devices, we can strengthen the consequences if someone were to break the law. The consequences can be a fine or jail if anyone gets injured. We should make the consequences higher so people would choose not to risk texting while driving. If the consequences are more effective, then less people would want to risk it. This way we can decrease the number of car accidents. If less accidents occur on the road, then more people would feel safer while driving.