Opinion: It’s our turn to step up and save our environment

Students protest climate change

DENNIS ZHANG / NORTHJERSEY.COM – When I started high school three years ago, my passion was running. I spent a lot of time on local trails with my running group. As we ran through the fields and woods of Mercer County, breathing deeply, I saw a lot of beauty and a lot of pollution.

The American Lung Association recently released its “State of the Air 2019” report. Ten of the fifteen New Jersey counties they monitored received an air quality — ozone grade of “F” – including Mercer County. The trails we run may look picturesque, but we are already feeling the impact of previous generations’ careless environmental destruction. More than 700,000 New Jerseyans live with asthma, and 300,000 with COPD. In the last 20 years – longer than I’ve been alive – NJ has had 11 of its hottest summers.

I’m only 17 years old, yet it’s clear to me that we need to act now to save our environment and health. If previous generations won’t, we can – and will …

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