The Vineyard Gazette – Martha’s Vineyard News

The Steamship Authority Needs to Do More to Combat Climate Change

Have you ever walked onto the ferry boat and smelled a nasty smell?

“Oh yeah!”

Have you ever gotten off the boat and felt nauseous or had a stomach ache?

“Definitely.”

Well, you feel those ways because of the gas they use, so the Steamship Authority needs to get electric boats! They should be doing much more to combat climate change.

The Steamship Authority needs to get electric boats. If you get electric ferries it would lower the gas emission on our island. Did you know that in 2019 the Steamship Authority used 1.3 million gallons of diesel. If you got electric boats that amount would be reduced or gone completely. In Norway in 2014 they launched their first fully electric ferry, with no CO2 emission. If they can do it, we can too.

The Steamship Authority needs to give discounted prices to electric car owners. If the Steamship Authority gave discounted prices to electric car owners it would bring lots more electric cars to the island and it would lower the gas emission on the island too.

Now you may be wondering, why would I pay this much money on a boat? Well I’ll tell you why. Gas for the ferry already costs so very much but think about if the Steamship Authority gets an electric boat, then you would not have to worry about gas.

The Steamship Authority has to put solar panels on the roof of the ferries. According to solar reviews, if you got solar panels it would be an amazing source of back-up power out on the water. Solar panels act as a way to recharge the boat’s battery and keep appliances running. Not only could the boats be fueled on electricity but it would run on it.

We kids can’t do much, but the adults can. My generation is living in your world. This is why the Steamship Authority has to do more to combat climate change.

Tillie Arrow Taylor, age 9

Plastic Alternatives

Plastic kills animals, people and plants. It kills every living thing on Earth. That’s right folks, plastic has horrible chemicals that get into your delicious food. Let’s change that today and make better choices instead of plastic. The first step is getting compostable plastic. I know you’re thinking, what’s so good about compostable plastic? Well, I’ll give you the answer. The first reason is it produces 80 per cent less greenhouse gases and that helps the climate. My next reason is because it’s made of plants! Did you actually think it was made of plastic? No silly. My third reason is because it’s non-toxic, but definitely don’t eat it.

The second step is to try something other than plastic forks. Now you’re asking why? Because they’re not good for the environment and every time they’re used, they’re just thrown away. So let’s try something different like silverware (especially if you want something shiny), or wood or bamboo (because it’s lightweight and compostable).

Now instead of covering things in plastic try using something different. One thing you can use is beeswax wraps. They can be molded around food or bowls and they are also reusable. Another option is silicone food bags. They are freezer, refrigerator or cupboard safe. Lastly, there are reusable sandwich wraps. These you can wash and use many times.

Now that you have learned how to avoid plastic, you’ve learned how to save Chilmark, Martha’s Vineyard and the world. So next time you reach for a plastic utensil, plastic wraps or non-compostable plastic, think about an alternative instead.

Josephine Persinko, age, 8

Electric Cars on Martha’s Vineyard

Did you know that every single year the people on Martha’s Vineyard use 757,000 barrels of oil, according to mvcommission.org? If every person on the Island who drives were to get an electric car, then Martha’s Vineyard would be gas free. By driving electric cars, we would lower the gas emissions in the air. By having more places where people can charge their electric cars, it would encourage more people to buy electric cars. By having more electric cars on Martha’s Vineyard, we would lower the gas emissions in the air. All electric vehicles produce no tailpipe emissions, which are huge contributors to CO2 emissions into the air. The CO2 emissions from non-electric cars can make people nauseous, cause headaches and problems in people’s lungs. Not only do electric cars lower CO2 emissions, it saves people tons of money on gas.

More electric car chargers in public would encourage more people to get electric cars. If electric car chargers were as common or more common than gas stations, it would be more appealing to get an electric car. Installing more chargers in public places makes them more accessible. You can go to grocery stores and libraries while your car is charging. If there were more car charging stations installed on the Island it would not the aesthetics of Martha’s Vineyard because they aren’t as much of an eye sore as gas stations.

The places that rent cars and mopeds should also only be renting electric cars. By switching to electric vehicles we would have an Island where there would be no gas fumes, gas stations or people getting headaches from gas fumes. In the summer a lot of tourists rent cars on the Vineyard. If those rental cars were electric the gas emissions would be lower. Car rental places with electric cars would inspire people who rent or see them to buy electric cars. Car rental places are generally in Oak Bluffs where it is noisy and crowded. Electric vehicles would help reduce the noise.

When I am in an electric car I do not get a headache from the gas emissions and they are silent! Finally I can hear birds chirping and squirrels chittering. Next time you’re thinking of buying a new car, make it an electric car.

Penny Athearn, age 9

More Bike Paths on Martha’s Vineyard

Do you like to bike or walk? Have you ever gone outside to bike or walk but there is too much traffic? Then you might think that we need more bike paths!

We should use more bikes, skateboards and one-wheels. We need more bike paths because cars pollute and bikes, skateboards and one-wheels don’t. The Martha’s Vineyard bike paths need to be repaved and they should be much longer. In the state forest there are many unpaved and bumpy bike paths. They should be fixed. If we have more bike paths, more people would bike, skateboard, walk and one-wheel.

Bike paths keep you safe. Cars can kill you because they go too fast. The summer traffic can sometimes block your path which is dangerous because you can’t swerve around cars. People walk on the bike paths which are safer for them but they are also in danger because of the bikers. The paths should be wider, because Martha’s Vineyard has a lot of visitors and everyone is on the paths.

Bikes, skateboards and one-wheels are good exercises. When you pedal a bike your legs get stronger. You get fresh air which is good for your lungs. Cars are not good for the environment.

Bike paths are really important and we need more on Martha’s Vineyard. Imagine how much better family adventures would be.

Luciano Sanseverino, age 8

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