Construction’s impact on the environment

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Photo by: Katie Holme

With all the construction occurring all around Austin, the wildlife is now being affected.

Editorial Writer, Editorial

Examining the long term effects of rampant city growth on the issue of climate change

Austin is one of the fastest-growing cities in the united states and is constantly expanding. With this expansion, Construction feels like it never stops, especially in the areas surrounding Bowie and towards Loop One South MoPac. Construction has created a chaotic environment that surrounds campus constantly. The inconvenience is there, and affects the daily lives of those who live in the surrounding area, but how is it affecting our environment?

The current political climate is stressing the importance of being Eco-conscious due to the heated debate on the legitimacy of climate change. According to the White House’s official website, Donald Trump’s call to action in response to climate change entails little to no effort.

The official stance states Americans are misinformed about the country’s energy supply, the carbon emissions are “their lowest level in 25 years” and “American energy policy must balance environmental protection with economic growth to encourage innovation, discovery, and prosperity.” Although the stance of Trump may be deemed sufficient based on his political values, carbon emissions, as well as the state of our atmosphere, is continuing to deplete.

With this being said there are several questions to ask: how is the construction in the surrounding area affecting our fragile environment, and what can the community do to improve these already implemented construction projects in our area?

To answer these pressing questions, we must take into account the policies in place to legally protect the environment on behalf of the private construction company. Because of these already existing precautions, construction was cleared in the Bowie area, but there is always more that can be done by us, the individuals.

As a community, we are responsible for our small ecosystem. Because we are responsible for the surrounding wildlife, we must do more to protect it now that construction has altered the balance existing amongst the environment.

The effects of the private construction company have seemed to displace surrounding wildlife. Students may have seen small ducks roaming into construction or overgrowth of greenery in several areas of campus regarding the construction. If one spots a displaced specimen of wildlife, be sure to contact an administrator, or a nearby adult rather than disturbing the wildlife itself.

Something else that must be addressed is the large pile of dirt and waste that is located next to the construction site, in which dust, smells, and other residue constantly stir in the atmosphere near the outdoor areas of campus.

Being the less glamorous part of a construction project, it is important to question how these changes to our campus are affecting the surrounding environmentally fragile areas, such as the Veloway and the Edwards aquifer. With this massive amount of waste, the school must communicate with the private construction company to create an environmentally friendly area.

To create an Eco-conscious campus, the reflection of one’s behavior is essential to understanding the effects of Bowie as a community on the environment. Although there are faults in the construction process to improve our campus, there are some positive outcomes that have stemmed from it.

For example, the traffic due to construction, as well as the scarcity of parking spots available, has encouraged students and staff to carpool which has (theoretically) reduced Bowie’s carbon footprint. Small changes like these are essential to fighting the ongoing battle with climate change and are highly encouraged to keep Bowie beautiful. With this though, there has been more litter near areas of construction, and in the church parking lot. Students and staff alike must be conscious of their decisions and how they may be affecting a larger issue.

Although construction is essential to societal progression, it is important to treat Mother Earth with respect and kindness so, ask yourself, what am I doing to contribute to the longevity of a ‘healthy’ earth, and how do my actions contribute to larger, ongoing issues including debates like climate change.

Due to individual action, many have contributed to a larger cause that will, in turn, affect the rest of the world for future centuries (if the human race is lucky enough to solve pressing environmental issues). So to help with the problem, make sure to pick up litter, carpool, and do any small thing one can do to contribute to campus in a positive, environmentally conscious way.