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Raising awareness to the harm of our everyday actions have the power to positively influence planet Earth

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I think most people can come to an agreement that Earth is astonishing. I once heard an analogy on a Liturgists podcast that compared time on Earth to a person’s wingspan. The instruction was to spread out your arms, as your wingspan represents all of Earth’s history, then take a nail file to the tip of your fingernail. The minuscule shaving that comes off is representative of human history.

With that being said, in the short time humans have been on Earth in comparison to the Earth’s existence, I think that we are the nail file. Every bit filed off is the destruction and the pollution caused by human activity. Because of it, the world is beginning to change at a rapid pace.

I believe we have mostly had a negative effect on the planet.

A common misconception of humans is that as an individual, you cannot make an impact. “Just one trash bag in the ocean won’t harm the animals.” But, if everyone develops this mentality, it will make a huge effect, destroying habitats and all of their inhabitants.

This is a classic example of “out of sight, out of mind.” Let’s say your trash can at the end of your driveway is filled up, and the garbage man picks it up and throws it into the big truck. We never really think about it, but where does the trash then go?

First, it goes to a transfer station where the local is taken and dumped before it is transferred to its final destination: a landfill. At the landfill, it is all buried and set to decompose in a process that takes hundreds of years to become compost, even for biodegradable garbage. If the waste is not correctly managed, the earth is in huge danger. Pollution is the biggest global killer affecting over 100 million people, and it causes greater disturbances than all else. So by littering and disrespecting the earth, could this end up killing others? Are you a part of the reason others die from pollution?

I believe we are truly at fault for the deterioration of the Earth, but why haven’t we strived to become the solution? Could we actually change the Earth for the better? If every individual consciously took action and took responsibility for the plant, it would be ten times healthier.

Rainforests are cut down at a rate of 100 acres per minute. Each day, there are 27,000 trees cut down so we can use toilet paper alone. Throwing a plastic bag into an ocean may not seem too harmful. After all, the oceans are massive, and a mere bag doesn’t seem like it could cause too much harm. However, the collective sum of plastic bags in oceans is to blame for the deaths of one million sea creatures annually.

Even the smallest actions make the greatest difference. Stop thinking you don’t make a difference. It is obvious that we all make a negative impact on our planet, so why aren’t we trying to make a positive one instead? If we all come together to contribute to benefitting the Earth, it can benefit people as well.

A simple way to promote a better Earth is using the Ecosia search engine which is based in Berlin and Germany. They donate 80% of their surplus income to non-profit conservationist organizations, with a focus on tree planting. Even a company that small is working to make a difference.

So, what’s stopping us?

It’s time to make a difference.

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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central
Raising awareness to the harm of our everyday actions have the power to positively influence planet Earth