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The Tower Pulse


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Ignition ignorance

Annabella Cecchini ’26

Cars surround South every morning, waiting with their engines running and releasing harmful emissions into the atmosphere. We at The Tower believe there are ways to prevent this.

Most upperclassmen receive an opportunity for an on-campus parking spot. The remaining students compete for to park on the street in the mornings, causing them to leave earlier than necessary for school.

While waiting for the bell to ring, students may leave their car on for several minutes. There are different reasons for this such as comfort, music, and company. These students might not realize it, but cars emit harmful gasses into the atmosphere. Not only are they harming the environment, but they are also spending more money on gas.

Many students at South choose to park alongside Grosse Pointe Blvd. or Fisher Rd. Especially on days of extreme weather, students tend to leave their cars running; unfortunately, that comes at a cost.

As stated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, and according to a recent survey conducted by The Tower, 50 percent of South High School students said that they spend at least twenty minutes in their vehicle before school.

On average, South students drive gas-fueled cars, which, unlike electric cars, produce harmful by-products, like carbon dioxide. NASA states that carbon dioxide from human activities is increasing about 250 times faster than it did from natural sources after the last Ice Age.

We at The Tower understand how critical it is to protect the environment from excessive vehicle emissions to preserve ecosystems’ vitality and ensure our planet’s preservation for future generations. We understand the teenagers’ excitement when receiving a license, though they also gain the responsibility of being climate-conscious. Due to the limited parking space available at South, parking can be extremely difficult, especially for novice drivers. There aren’t enough spaces for every car and that causes widespread traffic.

This climate issue is one that people may not consider as they go about their day, but with just a few changes students may be more climate-conscious while making it to their classes in a timely, comfortable manner. According to the National Park Service, carpooling is one way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles are as follows, which many students at South already do. By reducing the amount of cars driving to school, not only will there be more parking spots available for other students, but also a decrease in the amount of gas used, and therefore, carbon emitted.

Students may also consider bicycling or walking to school when the weather allows for it. For families with multiple cars, choose the car that takes the least gas to run. In cold weather when the utilization of air conditioning before school seems like the only option, dress warm. Layers can be shed and left in the vehicle before school starts.

Finally, South Administration might consider allowing earlier access into the building so all students can have the chance to stay warm. This could help reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses that are emitted into the environment every day by South students.

We at The Tower believe that, with just a few changes, students and staff can help decrease the amount of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere, helping to pave a better way for their future. Younger generations have the responsibility to help make a better environment for their future world.

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