The Little Things Add Up

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Have you ever thrown a piece of paper in the trash can even though there was a recycling bin perched right beside it? Have you ever let the water run while brushing your teeth, or left the lights on when you were leaving a room? If you answered yes to any of these questions, listen up. Careless actions like these are slowly harming our environment. A damaged environment could possibly sabotage our economy as well as our health. As a growing generation, we are the future. Let's make a difference. Let's take that extra step to save ourselves and our environment.


There are the evident problems with pollution and the lack of conservation of resources, but along with these are the simple solutions that are overlooked by the common eye. Recycling bins have been placed next to garbage cans all around the school, yet some students continue to throw away paper in the trash. After reading a magazine, recycle it. After using a piece of paper, recycle it. Believe it or not, if one person recycles all of their newspapers for one year, four trees and two thousand two hundred gallons of water will be saved. That is a huge help to the environment, and it doesn't even interfere with your daily routine. Processing recycled paper reduces the energy level to one fourth of what we would use to process raw paper. When an opportunity to recycle pops up, don't trash it.


Wasting water is a common habit that many people don't acknowledge. Our day to day lifestyle requires us to use loads of water. A twenty minute shower uses up to eighty gallons of water. Cutting down your shower time by five minutes will save twenty gallons of water! Do you leave the faucet running while brushing your teeth? Save nine extra gallons of water, and shut that faucet off. Running the dishwasher and washing machines only when they are fully loaded are other smart savers. Conserving water is just as easy as wasting it. Next time you get the chance, choose to conserve.


Not only can your efforts help the environment, but they can benefit you as well. Driving is an exciting privilege that many of you have been experiencing, or will experience soon. Alongside your license come the haunting gas prices and serious air pollutants. Did you know Americans use three hundred seventy-five million gallons of gas each day? Carpooling is a perfect way to conserve gasoline. If you and a friend in the neighborhood take turns driving to school you reduce pollution as well as gas consumption. When you go into town, run all your errands at once instead of going back and forth for each one. Up to twenty percent fuel savings could be saved when a driver is less aggressive. Make modest changes in the way you drive and the results will be rewarding for you and the environment.


It is argued that recycling is costly. Admittedly, the cost is in fact higher to recycle. To collect, transport and process recycled materials has a charge. Granted there is a cost to help the environment, the manufacturing expenses for recycled material is significantly lower than the manufacturing cost for products made from raw material. Energy is also saved in the process of manufacturing recycled material. The conservation of resources is said to be an inconvenience for some people. Although it might take a bit more effort to be aware of what you can do, the more you fall into environment-friendly habits the less inconvenient they will become.


Repairing and expanding the well-being of the environment doesn't mean giving up driving to stop pollution, taking one minute showers or reading a book with your bedroom lights off. Simple things add up and will affect the environment in a big way without changing your day to day lifestyle. Modest efforts made by you and your peers will add up and give so much back to the environment. Tonight when you brush your teeth, turn the water off. Tomorrow morning cut down the shower time, as hard as it may be. Throw your paper, plastic, and aluminum in their recycling bins. The extra steps you take to help the environment may be the extra steps you needed to help yourself.





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