Saving Our Home This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Our world is in a most dire situation. Everyday we hear stories of the ozone-layer "hole," and the "greenhouse effect," and the rising tide of environmental pollution. Unfortunately, the stories will not simply go away if we turn our heads away. In fact, the longer we prolong our lack of action to stop them, the more powerful and destructive they will become. Why has humankind allowed this to happen? It is utterly illogical to destroy your home, is it not?

Although I do have at least one of the many possible answers, it is not offered as a justification for our foolishness. It is actually not too difficult to see how this environmental destruction has been allowed to happen. For the most part, we deal with things that directly affect us: if it rains, we put on a raincoat; if we are in need of funds, we find another job. Unfortunately, environmental destruction is something that does not affect people in the short term. Even the most caring and conscientious person cannot become overly frightened over the loss of the rain-forests thousands of miles away. Indeed, regardless of how terrifying the "greenhouse effect" sounds, it does not affect us directly on a day-to-day basis. With this idea of why the destruction is occurring, perhaps we can think of answers to the problem.

We need to find a way to make people see that the problem does affect them, every single day. To begin, people should sort their trash: keep all recycleable materials separate. Newspapers, bottles and plastics as well as paper, can be recycled. This would create awareness of the environment's fragility, help to stop the tide of overflowing trash, save some much needed resources, and most importantly, create a situation in which people are affected every day, and thus they are always somewhat aware of the problem on their planet.

Another step people could take is to use public transportation to lower the amount of pollution as well as CO2 in the air, both of which add to the "greenhouse effect." People could also not eat at certain restaurants, especially fast food places, because their hamburgers come from cows who lived on former rain-forest land, and the containers they use put CFC's, the ozone killers, into the atmosphere. People can make a difference, no matter how small. These are only a few ideas: there are many other possibilities for how people can add to positive change in our world.

Yes, it often seems futile for one person to change the world. So, do not remain alone: tell your friends, your parents, and anyone else. Try to convince them that the earth is worth a few minutes each day. It is true that humans have been polluting and destroying their home for many decades now, thus making our present task gargantuan. But do not despair, for steps can still be taken before it is too late. We can all become aware of our world through our daily tasks, and hopefully we will someday have environmentally-aware politicians. We should always remember the words of Anwar-el Sadat, who died for peace: "You are not a realist unless you believe in miracles." And when thinking of our fragile earth, you must never forget them.n



Editor's Note: April 22 is Earth Day. Watch for upcoming activities.


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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xXxPriyxXx said...
Jan. 19, 2010 at 5:57 pm
SADAT! xD
I LOVED IT!
:)
<3
 
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