By Camryn Parsons

A few Fridays ago was a very important day – it was Earth Day! Every year on April 22nd we take the time to appreciate the beautiful home we have been blessed with and reflect on what we have done as a human race to destroy this planet and how we may try and save the Earth before it is too late.

Here are a few issues concerning our Earth right now:

  • Fossil Fuels and Green House Gases:
    • Number one cause for global warming.
    • Green house gases are released by nuclear power plants and factory farms (just two major causes out of many).
  • Loss of Biodiversity and Wildlife:
    • Who is to blame? Humans.
    • Humans destroy the habitats of various species every single day; killing off one species can and will continue to mess up food chains, affecting ecosystems as a whole.
  • Water:
    • Right now, one third of humans do not have access to fresh water.
      • This number will greatly increase by 2050.
    • Ocean Acidification:
      • The ocean absorbs 25% of human carbon dioxide emissions, which combines with other elements to form compounds that are not beneficial for the ocean or its creatures.
      • Sea life, ranging from coral to dolphins, is suffering from this phenomenon.
      • Not only is this a problem for the sea but also for people who eat seafood.
    • Overfishing:
      • An estimation by tells us that by 2050, there will be no fish left in the sea.
      • This decrease in the population of fish is due to humans because of the increasing demand of sea food.
    • Deforestation:
      • Since 1990, half of the rain forests in the world have been destroyed by humans.
      • Trees are being cut down at a rate never seen before in history.
      • Forests cover 30% of Earth and provide protection and a great natural habitat for many animals. Deforestation strips away this important resource.

Yes, there are a lot of problems affecting us and our Earth, thousands of them in fact, and we will never be able to completely fix the destruction we have already caused. However, just because we can not undo all the mistakes we have made does not mean we should not try. We can not erase the past, but we can paint a better future. There are things YOU can do to save this Earth, one step at a time.

What you can do:

  • Conserve water in your home:
    • Do not wash dishes with water running constantly – find a method that is efficient and that does not waste water!
    • Similarly, do not leave water running when you are brushing your teeth
    • Check to see if there are any water leaks in your house and try to fix them.
  • Help work against water pollution:
    • Join a local group that helps to clean up the water or waste.
    • Volunteer to clean up beaches.
  • Use less electricity:
    • Use solar power for you house.
    • Shut off your water heater if you will be away from your home for a while.
    • Turn off lights that are not necessary.
    • Compact fluorescent light bulbs will save your money and the Earth’s energy!
  • Try driving less often:
    • You can always bike or walk to places; it’s a healthier alternative for you and the Earth!
    • Carpool!
  • Reduce your meat consumption and increase your vegetable intake:
    • Where does your meat come from? Does the grocery store not tell you this?
    • Find out where your meat comes from and try to eat meat from a local farm rather than a factory farm.
    • Factory farms are one of the number one causes of global warming.
  • Stop killing trees:
    • You can find a good area and plant a tree! It is fun, and helps to make up for all of the trees we have cut down in the past years.
  • Protect and save animals:
    • Right now, the animals need you! Their homes are being destroyed, so make an effort to conserve our environment.
    • Plant plants that attract animals or set out a bird feeder for our airborne friends.
  • Eat fish that are sustainably caught:
    • The number of fish in the ocean, as mentioned before, is decreasing at an extremely high rate.
    • Eat fish that are in season.

A few of you may have already adopted some of the aforementioned practices, but even if some of us have not, it is extremely important that we start saving the Earth right now. April 22nd may have officially been dedicated towards celebrating our planet, but in reality, every day should be Earth Day! Today, even under our supervision, the Earth is a stage where many bad incidents are transpiring. It is in our control and most importantly up to us to bring in the good. Thank you for reading, and I hope this helped you to understand what you can do  to help and why the state we are in right now is a pressing issue.