by Hana Ulep
Planet Earth is a precious place that is being mistreated by many people in the world. Many of the things we do everyday affect the world in a negative way. This harms it and the future generations of people that will live on it. Here are some simple ways to change your everyday routines so that the world can be a happier and healthier place for us to live on.
- Turn the lights off at home when they aren’t being used. Keeping the lights on when they are not needed on is unnecessary and wastes energy. Lights are commonly powered by resources on earth that aren’t renewable, and these resources are difficult and not eco-friendly to gather. Turning the lights off when they aren’t needed on is a great way to preserve these resources that are used to power the lights.
- Unplug any chargers or plugs from the wall when they aren’t being used. When these are kept plugged into the wall, they actually use energy. It takes almost no effort to unplug chargers or plugs from the wall, and is extremely beneficial in the long run. Although it does not make much of a big difference in our personal energy consumption, if everyone took part in this simple deed, it would make a huge difference in the total amount of waste on the planet. Without having billions of chargers and plugs plugged into the wall when not being used, our overall energy usage would go down and benefit the earth immensely.
- Pick up trash from the ground! Although this one takes a bit more effort than some of the other tips, it is worth the effort and really isn’t as difficult as we make it out to be. Trash on the street that does not get picked up and put in a trash can goes straight into the drain or gets carried by the wind and into the ocean. This harms and even kills the marine life, which messes up the balance of the food chain. Some of the sea animals that are especially affected by garbage in the ocean are sea turtles, monk seals, and many other marine mammals. These are killed by the ingestion of plastic or getting caught in the garbage and choking. Almost all sea life is endangered, and their populations are decreasing rapidly. Picking up trash on the street is extremely important in order to maintain the balance of the animals on our planet and to save the sea animals from dying out.
- Eat less red meat. Meats such as beef, lamb, and pork fall under this category. Cows (beef) are the one of the biggest factors contributing to global warming and other environmental problems. Red meat, and meat in general, is one of the biggest food industries in the world. Because of this, there are approximately 1.5 billion cows in the world. This amount of cattle is a major problem because cows weigh a lot (about 1,300 pounds), so they need to eat a lot of food. Like any animal or human, after eating, gas builds up in the body, leading to burping and farting, which goes up into the atmosphere. Cows’ gas contains a substance called methane gas, which, when too much is exposed to the atmosphere, is greatly polluting and contributes to the destruction of our atmosphere. Because of the huge amount of cows that exist and the immense amount of methane gas that each cow produces each day (about 50 gallons), the beef/meat industry is one of the most environmentally unfriendly industries. Eating less meat would mean that you would not be supporting these companies as much, and, therefore, helping the environment.
- Drive less and/or use other transportation options. There are many other types of transportation that don’t use as much gasoline and pollute the world. These include biking, walking, taking the bus, skateboarding, carpooling, and more. Of course, it’s not always reasonable or convenient to take these other modes of traveling, but when, for example, one is just going to the nearby shops or grocery store, those modes of transportation are better ways to go. Plus, it’s always nice to be outside in the fresh air. Another option is driving an electric car. These help out because they don’t use gasoline or other fossil fuels. Although electricity is powered by power plants, which aren’t very eco-friendly, there are many other ways to power these vehicles, like solar power, wind turbines, and more.
- Instead of throwing away pieces of paper that have been written on but aren’t completely full, use them as scratch paper. This step takes no effort, and saves a tremendous amount of paper. This is a simple step and decreases the amount of trees cut down to make paper. Trees are very important and crucial to life on earth. Trees take in carbon dioxide produced from people, animals, and machines and converts it to oxygen, so that the atmosphere stays intact. They are also the biggest sources that provide people and animals with oxygen to breathe and live. Trees also house many of the animals in the world, and their populations have been declining because of the decrease in trees. Some of these creatures include birds, insects, fungi, and more. The food chain depends on many of the animals, making them very important to the world.
- Save water when possible. Obviously, most living things need water in order to survive, so it is crucial that we do everything we can to preserve and not waste this precious resource. Although the majority of the world is made up of water, only 0.37% of that is actually drinkable, meaning that it is clean and fresh. Some simple ways to save water are to turn the faucet off when the water isn’t being used, take shorter showers, and be cautious in general of when water is being wasted. A bucket can also be placed in the shower to catch extra water. That water can be used to water your lawn and other plants in your yard. Preserving water is crucial for all living things and is necessary to keep the environment whole and intact.
8. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. These three things are key to helping out the world. You can reduce use of plastic by investing in reusable water bottles, grocery bags, lunch boxes, napkins, and other things that can get many more uses out of. You will actually end up saving money when you invest in these eco-friendly and reusable options because you won’t be buying plastic and other one-use items everyday. Recycling is also a very easy thing to do: just recycle the things that can be recycled instead of throwing them in the trash. These things are so easy and benefit you and the world tremendously.
- Compost. Composting helps the world because it can decompose into soil that is full of nutrients and is much better for plant growth. Leftover food or expired food can be put to use, instead of being thrown in the trash and going to the landfill where it is useless. By simply throwing away food into a compost bin instead of the trash bin, you are helping the world and getting the most out of your resources.
- Help others be aware of the earth’s stance. By making sure that others know that we need to make a difference in the environment, more people can do what they can to fix these mistakes that we sometimes don’t even know we’re making. If everybody knew that the world was in such great danger and started making a change, then the environment’s state would be immensely improved. Each and every person’s actions add up, so we all need to make sure that we are doing what we can to save the world.
The world is our only home, and we all need to do what we can to keep it from dying. The horrible state that the environment is in is not something that can be ignored or put off for later. We have to act now while we still can, and treat the world with the respect it deserves. If everybody puts in some effort to make a change, we can make the difference that has to be made.