How You Can Help the Environment Right Away
Climate change is the biggest problem we face in the 21st century. There is a lot of news about the effect it will have on the planet in the near future, and much of it is terrifying. This is the time for everyone, you included, to take action. Some of us can take bigger steps than others, but the worst thing we can do is nothing. The sooner we take that first step, the better the next century will be. There is a lot you can do right now that will inspire yourself and others to keep working towards a better future.
Our individual journeys start with ourselves. What comes to mind when you hear the words “environment” or “climate?” Write down everything that comes to you. This will give you an idea of what is important to you, and where you can start. There are steps you can take in your day-to-day life. Try eating less meat, especially beef, as the industry adds a lot of carbon to the atmosphere. Instead of just recycling, try “precycling,” which is when you make sure there will be less garbage before you get something. Bring your own bag to the store instead of using plastic bags. Buy the smaller item or one that has less packaging.
The next step in your journey is to look at the people and places around you. Encourage your family to think more about how their actions impact the environment. Remember that you are not judging each other, but trying to help one another make the world better. Your school is a big opportunity to spread great ideas and make things happen. Talk to your friends and teachers and ask for their ideas as well. Your next classroom project or presentation could be on the environment. Parents can be encouraged to leave the car at home and walk their children to school each morning. Many schools have started tree-planting projects and gardens that help students learn more about nature and why it is important.
If there are no nature or environmental clubs at your school, start one yourself! You can get teachers and staff to help you with school-wide activities and presentations at assemblies or community events. As a group of students, you can start campaigns that will help the environment and community through organizations such as DoSomething.org or IMatterYouth.org. As your journey continues and grows, you can set your sights on larger goals. This might include contacting government officials or starting up a larger group in your city using a community centre. What started as some ideas written down on paper can turn into something much bigger and make a grand impact.
Threats to the environment are great and growing, and sometimes it can be very difficult to hear the latest news on environmental destruction or climate change. This is why it is more important than ever for all of us, no matter your age, to take action. The smallest of steps can grow into the biggest of changes. One person alone is not enough to make the difference needed. But as more and more individuals take those steps, the brighter the future will be for everyone.
Gienapp, Rebekah. “9 Ways Kids Can Protect the Planet, on Earth Day and Every Day.” The Barefoot Mommy. http://www.thebarefootmommy.com/2017/04/earth-day-for-kids/
The Guardian. “How to make your school more eco-friendly.” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/feb/12/carbonfootprints-carbon-emissions
We Have Kids. “26 Ways Kids Can Protect the Environment!” https://wehavekids.com/parenting/26-ways-your-kids-can-help-protect-the-environment