We were all six years old once. Just beginning to cusp the wonders of earth and experience it for ourselves. We delighted in those wonderful methods: touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound. Do you remember the first time you saw a spider-web? The intricate angles gleaming in the sun, reflecting blue shards of light like a shattered mirror. The way it swayed gently with the wind, but never broke, always hooked tightly upon some wooden gate or fence, stubborn. To a child, it is a miracle. It is the peak of imagination wound tightly in small triangles and pentagons, a school lesson come to life. Do we not owe it to the unborn to give them this? A life full of wonder and magnificence derived from the phenomenon of nature? As those grown children, who remember those first feelings of awe, we have a duty to protect it. The culprits of environmental destruction present themselves in the small as much as they do the big. This is why we start here: with a step towards sustainability. Eco-friendly packaging protects the sanctity of nature while encouraging communital unity. It’s a step in the right direction, a small one, but a step. Perhaps it’s time we take it.

It’s not you. It’s them. Big companies like Amazon or Target are still using harmful packaging such as plastic or non-biodegradable materials. At the rate of their production, hundreds of thousands of products are being shipped or sold within the confines of a box or plastic bag. This is precisely why smaller companies need to adopt eco-friendly packaging–starting small isn’t a defeat. Starting small is starting. That’s all the world needs, a little push in the right direction to make the dominos fall. The decision to swap out harmful packages saves lives: it saves sea turtles and coral reefs and birds. If that isn’t enough convincing for a business, then perhaps we can look at the customers. Consumers value being appreciated. People as a species enjoy being heard in their complaints and praises. When a business adopts cloth or recycled packaging, it demonstrates a level of respect towards the environment, and sequentially towards the consumers themselves. Any business that truly cares for and wants the best for those who buy their products should make the switch.

It’s a sacrifice for an institution, I’m sure. Plastic packages are likely cheaper than ones that support sustainability, but we are looking at a world that is in need of selflessness, not selfishness. Owning a business won’t matter if there is no world to own one in, thus it is everyone’s duty to do what they can to protect our planet. For companies, adopting eco-friendly methods of transporting goods is a great place to start, a small place, but a place nonetheless. It’s these efforts that will give children around the world the joy of experiencing a life with wonder. By going green, we pass down that gift that our parents gave to us when we were kids. Perhaps it’s time we consider a future where this is possible.

Essay by: Gracyn McGathy
Cedar Park High School

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