Wake Up World!

Our world needs us, it’s time to help.

Educate+the+Youth

Photography, Abby Smith

Maybe the children can teach the adults a thing or two

Wake up world! With the largest ice caps melting and the Amazon Rainforest burning, plastic polluting our seas and our favorite animals slowly coming closer and closer to extinction, something must be going wrong. It seems that our planet is slowly becoming more and more uninhabitable. Most of us know about or have heard of climate change, but do we really understand how dire this situation is? 

 

At this very moment the Amazon Rainforest, the earth’s largest producer of oxygen, is being ravaged by fires. Though these fires are caused more by the deforestation taking place in Brazil rather than global warming itself, the effects this will have on climate change are astronomical. Many people and activists all over the world are noticing and they definitely have something to say about it. Most of the blame is being put on Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsanaro, for his lack of concern for the Amazon. Though deforestation has been happening in the Amazon for a long time, it is at an all time high since 2013 due to the lack of laws protecting this magnificent forest. Losing the Amazon would be devastating to our world. The amount of greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere would skyrocket, furthering the damage of climate change. It would also cost tribes native to the rainforest their homes and resources along with the thousands of species of animals that populate this ecosystem.

 

But this isn’t the only problem. There are many contributing factors to climate change other than just deforestation. One of the major problems is the burning of fossil fuels, which releases poisonous chemicals into the atmosphere. The surplus of plastic and other pollutants that we use as a society on a day to day basis is also a huge problem. Most of these problems are caused by huge billion dollar industries and people who care more about their salaries than the survival of the human race. Now there’s not much we can do there, but there are still ways you can try to help and do your part. 

 

The first thing you should do is to educate yourself! Read the articles, learn about politicians who are trying to combat climate change. Then make your voice heard and speak out! Other ways you can help are by making small changes to use or consume less products that aid in polluting our world. Now I know we love to laugh at the VSCO girls with their metal straws and hydroflasks, but you might want to grab one too! Though plastic straws only make up a small percentage of waste, it is still a problem that we can easily fix. And a reusable water bottle is an easy switch that will make a big difference, and it will probably save you money in the long run. Come on, I know you want to save the sea turtles!

 

Plastic bags are also an easy switch. Did you know that plastic shopping bags have been found at the top of Mount Everest?! Even the tallest mountain in the world has been affected by pollution. What are we doing?! These are so unnecessary and there are definitely ways you can avoid using them. Instead of taking a bag for the two items that you randomly bought at target, just carry them out to your car, or bring your own reusable bags to the store with you. 

 

Some of the bigger changes you can make are trying to eat one or two vegan or vegetarian meals a week. Yes I know that it is so much easier to grab a McChicken or a cheeseburger instead of cooking at home, but did you know that animal farming is one of the biggest contributors to climate change? Livestock take up an abundance of the Earth’s resources. Over 30% of the earth’s land is used for livestock and it can take almost 2000 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. Changing up your regular meals every once in awhile won’t kill you, but it will help make a difference, and may even be better for your health. You don’t have to become completely vegan or vegetarian to save the planet, but maybe just rethink that quarter pounder every once in a while. 

 

There are so many ways you can help do your part and combat climate change. The truth of the matter is that we only have one earth and there is no back up plan. Once all the ice is melted, all the forests burned, all the animals extinct, and the oceans full of pollution, there will be nothing left except for us, and we won’t last much longer. We need to act now, all of us. 100 people doing everything right with no waste won’t save our world, but if we all come together and make an effort, even if it’s a small one, we can keep our earth from slowly losing everything that makes it special. We need to act now. We need to be the generation to stop climate change. We need to be the generation to take a stand. It’s up to us now. It may seem scary, but don’t you want to be able to say that you were part of the generation that saved the world? 

 

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