You look around you to see all your creations being destroyed. You, yourself, are decimated. Yet, there is nothing you can do as you gaze around in horror, dismay, and complete and utter sadness. This is how the world feels.
You’re fading away, slowly withering away into nothingness. Yet, few care. All your hard work, all your love and nurturing, for naught. No one blinks an eye as they watch you die at their hands. They scoff at the idea of helping you, not realizing all you have provided for them. This is how the world feels.
Humans are simply standing by as they watch their planet be ravaged. Despite people’s denial, climate change is real. Perhaps you think global warming is part of a natural trend, unaffected by human forces. Please, though, realize that humans certainly are contributing to the problem; by pouring tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, more and more heat is trapped in the troposphere. The warming of the oceans are melting the polar ice caps, causing coastal cities to disappear as they become submerged. The warming also affects weather patterns, leading to more frequent and severe storms that threaten to wipe out whole communities. Other human activities, such as encroaching on rainforests for more land, destroys entire ecosystems,
killing off thousands of species. Pollution and runoff contaminates drinking water to lakes to the once great oceans. The list doesn’t end there… Everyday, we continue to destroy our planet, with little regard for the consequences. It needs to stop before there is no planet to save.
Look at your world. Really look at it. Watch the animals writhe in pointless struggle, trying to free themselves of the viscous, entrapping oil. See as trees are torn down, ripping away innocent animals’ homes. Plastic floats through the ocean, an inconspicuous trap, forming entire synthetic islands. Just look around you, and you will see the pain humans are inflicting on their world.
Imagine a new world. One where Tokyo isn’t drowning in smog, where California doesn’t have to worry about conserving their water, where islands are no longer decimated by ever increasing ferocious hurricanes. The sky is clear of pollution, the ocean free of oil spills and detritus, the ice caps remain intact, and extinction is rare.
We may never reach that ideal world. However, we can at least work to alleviate the suffering the planet is enduring. There are so many ways to try and save our environment, and WE, our generation, are the ones who have to do it. We have our whole lives ahead of us, time to try and work toward easing the consequences of the problems we have created.
Recycle more. Paper, metal, some plastics, glass: they can all be recycled. Familiarize yourself with the recycling laws in your state, seeing which numbers on plastic you can recycle. Recycling reduces waste by using old materials to make new products, therefore lightening landfills.
Create a compost pile. Fruit and vegetable peels, certain leftover food, you can compost outdoor. You’ll reduce the amount of waste you produce, while naturally giving your lawn or garden nutrients. Try not to fertilize your lawn or treat it with any chemicals. Fertilizer runoff from this can cause eutrophication in ponds, meaning that algae will grow on the surface of the pond, and once it dies, it will strip the pond of oxygen, killing all inhabitants of the pond.
Plant more trees. Trees consume the carbon dioxide that humans produce by burning fossil fuels, helping to alleviate the levels in our atmosphere, while giving us more oxygen.
At home, turn off the lights when you leave a room, or when it’s sunny out. This will save excess coal from being burned and wasted, and may even save you money on your electric bill. If you leave the house, turn the heat down for the same reason. In the summer, save air conditioning for when it’s absolutely needed. Ditch the dryer and use a clothesline more often, saving money and electricity. Talk to your family about investing in solar power. It’s worth it, even if you don’t necessarily want to conserve the environment, since it will save money in the long run. Solar power provides your house with a renewable source of energy, so you don’t have to rely on electricity as much. This cuts down on the amount of coal burned and carbon dioxide emissions, as well as saving you money.
Carpool. Think of all the gas that is saved, as well as kept out of the environment, all while saving you a few bucks. Consider cleaner fuel methods before you a buy a big car. This includes alternative fuel sources, like recycled vegetable oil, or simply buying an electric, or even hybrid car.
Stop throwing so much away. Old toys? Clothes? Shoes? Donate them. You’ll keep them out of a landfill and in turn bring someone else out there happiness to have received their own necessities. Stop using disposable water bottles and buy yourself a durable, reusable water bottle, so you no longer have to continue buying packaged plastic bottles. You’ll keep excess bottles out of landfills, and lessen the impacts of factories that make plastic bottles. Producing plastic comes with the side effect of dumping countless pollutants into the air and water, like sulfur oxide, which can lead to acid rain. Acid rain prevents plants from getting their necessary nutrients, as well as acidifying lakes. Moving on, even if you do find yourself buying packaged water, reuse those bottles before recycling them. Same goes for paper and plastic bags. Better yet, if you bring lunch or food to school, use tupperware so you don’t waste bag upon bag.
These are only a few of the ways you can reduce your impact on the environment, lessening its destruction. However, there are more ways to get involved and even try to fix the problem of climate change, rather than just delay it. I beg you, please do research and devote at least a little of your time to helping the environment in any way you can. If we all do at least a little, we can definitely have a positive impact on the environment. Please, no matter what, promise you’ll try.