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Let's Make a Difference This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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      Forevery two and a half acres of land in the South American rain forests, there arean estimated 600 different species of trees as well as scores of types of animalsand insects, (some of which we have not even discovered). Unfortunately, 140,000square kilometers of rain forests are being destroyed each year. To put that intoperspective, the rain forests now cover only half the area that they did 100years ago. We often hear about global warming and wonder what we can do. Oneanswer is this: recycle, and stop killing trees because rain forests play a veryimportant role in keeping the air balanced and clean, as well as protecting theozone layer

You might wonder, So what do all of these numbers really mean,and what can I do to ensure my grandchildren will breathe the air we do and enjoydifferent species of animals? Well, these numbers tell us that we don't have muchtime, and if people don't wake up soon and realize that we are wasting the mostimportant means we have to save the earth, it may be too late. If everyone makesan effort and tells others to recycle all they can, the world will be a betterplace for our children and grandchildren.

My school district does notrecycle. All paper is thrown into dumpsters at the end of the day because it ismore convenient. There are 6,000 students in the district and hundreds ofteachers. It is safe to say that the average student throws away two pieces ofpaper a day (not counting the paper we waste at the end of the year when we cleanout our lockers). If each piece of paper squandered this year in my schooldistrict alone were laid down end to end, it would stretch from New York City tothe Canadian border.

Over the past year I have been trying to getpeople interested in persuading our district to recycle, and we may be able tomake a change soon with the help of underclassmen who I hope will follow throughon my goals after I graduate. This is what I consider to be my part in making adifference.

I would ask that we think about the future and do something,even as small as printing on both sides of paper or asking a friend to recyclenext time we see him or her throwing paper out.

The importance ofconserving rain forests and keeping our environment safe is something that Icannot ignore. Keeping the earth beautiful and leaving it the way we found it isthe very least any of us can do for the future generations who may not be giventhe choice that we have to save our air and rain forests.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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