It's everywhere! You can't get away from it! Songs, benefits, t-shirts! Everybody is preaching about our newest trend - the environment.
Remember back in May? That weekend you watched all those Earth Day specials and got psyched? You were going to save the planet all by yourself! You were going to plant trees, recycle everything and, somehow, fix up the rainforest. Monday, the alarm clock rings. "Let our kids worry about it," you decide.
Sadly, this is the popular outlook. It was good enough for our parents, right? Besides, it's out of our hands now. We didn't make all that toxic waste and it's not up to us to stop it. Acid rain? What acid rain? And hey, why not have a few extra summers? Bring on that Greenhouse Effect!
Well, everybody, I have two words to say to you. "Wake up!" No, the earth isn't healing itself. The human race did the damage, and it will get worse, I guarantee you.
Still not convinced? Well then, did you know that by the year 2000, all the landfills in Massachusetts will be full? Not surprising, considering that we use enough styrofoam cups daily to encircle the earth once. And I won't even get started on disposable diapers.
This is why we have to start recycling. Some towns are lucky enough to have curbside recycling, but a lot of us, myself included, are going to have to learn to go down to that recycling place once or twice a month with all our newspapers, plastics and bottles. No fun, but if we don't, just imagine the consequences! Do you want to have to wade through garbage to get to school in 2001?
The rest is pretty simple. Modify your use of the air conditioner next summer. Try to stop using styrofoam. And, I beg you, stop pointlessly destroying the ozone layer with aerosol hairspray.
If we start now, soon it will be second nature to us. We owe it to our children, and, most important, to our planet, Earth. n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.