Pollution Sollution Or The Next Best Thing This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   POLLUTION SOLUTION, OR THE NEXT BEST THING by Lisa K., Quincy, MA When I saw the ideas for Environmental Solutions, I was confused, to a certain degree. Global warming, preservation of rainforests, destruction of forests - yes, these all plague the world in which we live. Then I thought, Well, I don't think I can do anything about the depletion of the ozone layer by myself. So I thought of the problem I see every day, everywhere, that I could do something about - pollution. It has turned people away from cities and is an embarrassment and eyesore to residents and taxpayers. I kept thinking about the phrase my cousin always jokingly repeats, "Pollution is not the solution."

I remember in first grade the teacher made every student pick up three pieces of trash before coming in from recess. It was a remarkable sight, and the only time I ever saw people fighting over trash. If each person took time to gather three pieces of trash every day, that would be more than 1,095 pieces of trash in barrels and recycling centers for each of us every year.

Now my former elementary schoolyard is a mess. The first-graders still pick up their three pieces, but that's only 20 students picking up the trash of 200 students. By the time we reach the year 2000, what will that school playground look like? What will the city of Boston look like? What will your city or town look like? Nobody knows. Yet, with the help of everyday citizens, picking up pieces trash can become a standing reminder of what can happen if people take the time to care for nature, the world around them and themselves.

Gum wrappers, chip bags, soda cans - these are common items you find in stores. If you look out your window, I bet you could also find one of these blowing down the street. They may be made from recycled products; yeah, big deal. When they land on your lawn, they aren't instantly biodegradable. Who dropped that wrapper on the ground and who watched it blow by? Both people are guilty.

There are clubs at school, ads in magazines and even commercials on television about helping the earth, but be realistic. How many times have you walked by trash on the ground, or absent-mindedly dropped a wrapper and watched the breeze take it away? People see and hear things about pollution, but don't take action. Anti-litter signs hang all over the city, but nobody takes them seriously. A new question has surfaced: Is there really a way to stop pollution?

There are various types of pollution, some more serious than others. You may just skim this article, but its message is simple. Think before you drop that wrapper or walk by trash, figuring someone else will pick it up. It must start with you. Every person has the power to help. It might not preserve a species or purify our water, but it is a start and a step in the right direction. It's fast, it's easy and it helps. "Pollution is not the solution."

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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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 6:13 am
i love this so much!
cailyn de salle said...
Jul. 31, 2011 at 1:18 am
it was really nice i feel i also want to do an action when i finish reading it.  i aprecciate it very much
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