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Do Your Part

By , Montclair, NJ
With every passing year, the effects of global warming are becoming more and more severe. As a result of worldwide energy consumption and pollution, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have raised dramatically, raising Earth’s temperature. Natural disasters are becoming more severe. With every day another horrific effect of global warming is revealed. Just a couple of degrees increase in Earth’s temperature can make all the difference. We must do what we can to stop this from becoming an environmental catastrophe. When our nation faced WWII, the whole country was devoted to the problem. Everyone understood what was going on. Everyone did their part, be it planting “victory” gardens or converting from making cars to tanks and ships. We must address global warming with that level of seriousness and urgency.

One energy saving opportunity every family can do is cut out wasted electricity. When you see the small red light on the monitor when electronics are off, that means they are still using electricity. This is called phantom energy. The only true way to keep a device from using electricity is to unplug it. Even if appliances aren’t using much energy when they are plugged in, but turned off, they are using energy for a much greater time. That is because in most cases appliances are off more than they are on. That is why unplugging appliances can save massive amounts of energy.

Starting a compost pile can also have large environmental impact. A compost pile is a pile made up of food waste. The food waste is eaten by bacteria and recycled back into the natural environment as nutrient rich soil. This soil can be used effectively in the place of fertilizers. Instead offilling that landfillspace with food scraps, those potato peelings and banana peels return to the natural environment and fuel plant growth.

Another way to conserve resources, is to buy products without excess packaging. If the U.S. banned packaging peanuts and other excess packaging just as Europe has done, we could save the 200 million cubic feet of packaging peanuts each year in the U.S. One of the items that is most commonly over-packaged, is water. Next time, rather than buying a water bottle, fill up a reusable bottle at a fountain.

Not only would this save energy, but it would also save you money. Turning off lights and unplugging appliances throughout a home could save more than $40. Also, unplugging game systems like PS3s when you aren’t playing them could save you more than $200 a year. Phantom energy accounts for 5-10% of electricity used by Americans, according to 1998 and 2000 studies. This adds up to 3 billion dollars in annual spending from Americans, and it is equivalent to the energy produced by 18 power plants. Though each individual spending cut might not seem like that much, when you add them all together you could save many as well as help save the environment.

Earth houses us and is our only home. Right now as a result of global warming, glaciers are melting so fast that global sea levels have been raised significantly. This is directly an impact from humans and our excessive burning of fossil fuels. We are not only releasing gases by burning fossil fuels, but we are also cutting down valuable forests. Right now, every second one football field of space in the Amazon Rain Forest is cut down. If we don’t stop right now we will create the sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history, this one entirely man-made. It has taken Earth billions of years of development to get to this point. In 100 years we have set it back to where it was hundreds of years ago. It is time for every one of us to step up and do our part to keep the Earth healthy and on track.

Now is our time to prevent this rising catastrophe. While some may shy away and deny the horrific evidence, it is our job to rise up and stand up for the Earth. If this issue was widely publicized, and governments realized that the people care about this issue, there would be major reform. Be informed. Be active. Buy things without excess packaging. Start a compost pile. The American population needs to make the government and corporations to feel pressure. Because if we wait any longer, the consequences could be acute and severe, perhaps even apocalyptic.





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