Our Planet Is in Your Hands.
What if I said two football fields of forests were being destroyed per second?
How about if I told you that 80 percent of marine environment in the ocean comes from land or that 20 percent of man-made methane emissions comes from livestock digestion because cows are fed low-quality grain for factory farming? Do these questions shock you at all? Of course they do.
These facts aren’t put into perspective on a daily basis. But you have to ask yourself: what can you do to improve the health of the Earth? As a start, let us go back to that catchy phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle.” Shall we?
Reduce: Lessen your intake of objects such as clothing, food and one-time-use objects. The best way to accomplish this is to wait until something you need is completely worn out and cannot be used anymore. The things you use and take for granted every day are linked to thousands of other resources needed for farming, like water—used for cooling down machinery and cleaning—and land, where the resources grow and space is taken up for factories required for supply and demand production.
Reuse: Why buy a plastic water bottle, drink it, then throw the bottle away when you can buy a BPA free metal one for less than $15? This is the second step to the three R’s and works best with containers like Tupperware and bags. Choosing this small step can help save the planet, and help save you money. If you don’t need it, don’t get it!
Recycle: This is the last resort when the other two cannot be done. It is the most popular because most people skip over the first two steps. Plastic, glass, aluminum, and paper are the four most recycled things. The paper can be turned into more paper, the glass into more glass, and the aluminum into aluminum. However, plastic can only be downgraded into thinner plastics with the numbers 1 or 2 in the arrows and after that, it is put into the garbage. If you can take a worn out thing and turn it into something new or refurbish it, do so!
Those are just the basics. If you already follow those steps, try composting biodegradable materials and turning them into dirt, or going vegetarian or vegan to reduce methane emissions from livestock. Open your shades to let natural light into your home. Ride a bike, walk, or use public transportation and unplug appliances that are not being used. Most importantly, spread the word about what is and what isn’t good for the environment.
What matters is what you are willing to do for your Earth.
You share this planet with 7,090,372,978 other people and an unknown number of animals and plants. Don’t be greedy. Be kind to your fellow citizens, whether they be humans, or squids, and reduce your footprint.
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Assistant Ed: Dana Gornall/Ed: Brianna Bemel
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