On September 20 nearly 300 people marched on Manchester Town Hall demanding action regarding the current climate crisis. Activists used speakers and megaphones to give specific demands for local government action. The same voices informed fellow strikers of the current dangers we face and what part each person can play to help make a change.

Strikes such as these expand past Manchester, NH. Over 7 million have taken to the streets this past week as part of global climate strikes.

Some individuals have already made drastic lifestyle changes, and others are very willing to do so. Two Central High School students who attended the march already took steps to reduce their carbon footprint. One, Sofia Mendez, is currently vegan and made a habit of using reusable bags and straws. The other, Lydon Philbrook, is focused on making his voice heard to local governments.

“Our generation has the media, a tool no generation has had before,” Philbrook said. He went on to say he’d like to see local governments be the first to make changes around energy and pollution. From there, he believes it would move its way up the government ladder.

Not all young students are as active or knowledgeable as Mendez and Philbrook. Many of the youth at the march purchased reusable straws to cut out that part of their plastic pollution.

However, therein lies one miscommunication. Plastic straws are certainly a danger to our oceans, but makes up less than a tenth of a percent of all plastic pollution. Making the switch to reusable can give a sort of moral license, but it is not the end-all solution.

The danger is people who make the switch will feel satisfied and make no further changes. It takes strides such as significant changes from everyday people to sweeping government policies. If the recent climate strikes are anything to go by, we are in the midst of making strong first steps.