Anybody Can Save the Earth

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Photo credit:

Helen Simmons, Editor

Fires as large as Connecticut, cities underwater, category 5 hurricanes traveling on land and record-breaking heat sounds like a setting out of an apocalypse – but it’s actually our reality. The Earth’s climates are changing at a faster rate than ever before, and the next mass extinction is expected to happen sooner than ever. Animals are going extinct, forests are disappearing, people are dying and the Earth is getting warmer. Humans have caused all of these changes, and only humans can make the changes to save ourselves. Right now, more than ever, we need to save our planet, and it’s easier than expected. 

One of the easiest ways to help save the earth is to recycle and reuse. The the top producer of trash in the world, and 52.5% of our trash ends up in landfills that release toxic chemicals and greenhouse gases. Recycling and reusing reduces the amount of toxins released into the environment. Recycling also conserves natural resources because the materials are made into new products. Some easy ways to reuse products and reduce the amount of waste you produce would be to use plastic or glass containers instead of plastic bags or buy reusable cloth bags for transporting food. Don’t throw away food – eat it all or compost it. Use reusable water bottles. Use other helpful resources to find out how you can reuse almost anything. Recycling and reusing everyday products is an easy way to help save our planet.  

Another effortless way to conserve natural resources is to save water. One percent of the world’s water is surface freshwater, not including glaciers and snowfields. That’s a small amount of water to fuel Earth’s 7.6 billion people. But why conserve water if it’s a renewable resource? According to GetGreenNow, the water cycle could take thousands of years to bring water from underground or from glaciers for us to use. Eating less meat, taking shorter showers, taking baths, using less dishes and making sure the faucet is off whenever you don’t need it on are just a few examples of how you could use less water. There is a finite amount of available water, so we need to stop wasting clean water. 

Carpooling and riding bikes is another simple way to save the planet. All gas automobiles have an immense impact on the environment, from extracting petroleum from the Earth, shipping fuel, making the materials that build cars and releasing toxins when driven and the construction of roads. If you have the money, you could purchase an eco-friendly car like a Tesla or cars with better mpg’s. By biking, carpooling, or taking public transportation, we can reduce the amount of damage done to the environment from cars.

The simplest way to save the earth is probably the thing we do the least. Pull the plug and turn off the light! Not everybody can afford eco-light bulbs, but everybody can turn off the light when they don’t need it on. Turning off the lights when you leave a room can save energy and electricity. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, 50 American power plants are needed to supply sufficient energy for the always-on but inactive devices we keep plugged in. For example, people keep their coffee pots, laptop chargers and fans plugged in all the time. Of course, you’re not going to unplug and plug-in your TV every time you want to watch or keep your refrigerator unplugged. However, you can reduce the amount of electricity usage by unplugging the things that you don’t need to be plugged in. Using less power reduces the number of toxic fumes released by power plants, conserves natural resources and protects ecosystems from destruction. 

Anybody can do their part to save our home, and every single person makes an impact. I have made changes to my life to save the planet, such as not eating meat and keeping a partially-vegan diet, using less water and electricity, and reducing the amount of trash I produce by reusing and recycling. I help pay for my parents’ compost bucket and encourage my parents to live eco-friendly. Humans caused the earth’s destruction, and only we can turn it around. Right now, more than ever, we need to save our planet, and it’s easier than most people expect. Saving our home starts with you. There are so many ways that people can save the Earth, but we just have to be willing to do these things. To learn more about climate change and what you can do to help save the Earth and those who call it home, visit the World Wildlife Fund for Nature or