Our Precious Rock
June 14, 2019Share:
BY: LaCelle Powell Howard
WHAT ARE WE THINKING?
Let’s put some things in perspective; things that can be changed by responsible people, companies and nations.
Why do people have such disdain for this planet? We give no thought to contaminating the sea with plastics, garbage, industrial wastes, and sewage. We give no thought to polluting the air with toxic emissions and carbon dioxide…or of even the extinction of species.
We give no thought to the infinite piles of trash, tires, and evermore plastic. We give no thought to our befouling of rivers, lakes, and streams. We think nothing of the accelerating melting of the glaciers.
Some people, including some public officials, actually claim that the rising seas are caused by rocks falling into the water. And some actually believe that wind farms will slow down the wind or cause cancer (you know who!).
THERE’S NO PLANET 2.0
Enough of the naysayers about the climate change-caused shifting weather patterns: this precious, tiny speck of rock is less than 9,000 miles in diameter and less than 24,000 miles in circumference. This is it, folks, there are no other livable planets within reach. Once this one is ruined, that’s it.
HERE’S WHAT WE CAN DO
Each of us can take actions to lessen our own impact on the planet – and we can take action to force changes to the political and industrial structures that have such outsized effects.
PERSONAL ACTIONS – 10 SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO
- Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Cut down on what you throw away. Follow the three “R’s” to conserve natural resources and landfill space.
- Volunteer. Volunteer for cleanups in your community. You can get involved in protecting your watershed, too.
- Educate. When you further your own education, you can help others understand the importance and value of our natural resources.
- Conserve water. The less water you use, the less runoff and wastewater that eventually end up in the ocean.
- Choose sustainable. Learn how to make smart seafood choices at www.fishwatch.gov.
- Shop wisely. Buy less plastic and bring a reusable shopping bag.
- Use long-lasting light bulbs. Energy efficient light bulbs reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Also flip the light switch off when you leave the room!
- Plant a tree. Trees provide food and oxygen. They help save energy, clean the air, and help combat climate change.
- Don’t send chemicals into our waterways. Choose non-toxic chemicals in the home and office.
- Bike more. Drive less.
OTHER ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE
1. USE YOUR VOICE
- Speaking up is one of the most powerful things you can do, especially if it’s to the right people. Talk to your political representatives. Tell them to commit to action to protect our natural world.
- Contact the brands you buy from and get them to tell you how their products are sourced. Use social media – this is one of the most effective ways to get brands to listen to you, so tell them that you want a change.
- It’s not just about speaking to the people in charge. Talk to your friends, neighbors and colleagues and get them to make positive changes too. Speak up, speak to everyone, and make your voice heard.
2. BE INFORMED
- One of the best things you can do is to keep yourself informed – the more you know the better. It leaves you better equipped to have those conversations with your friends and family and the people you want to influence. Get yourself clued up on the facts, stay up to date with recent news on the state of our natural world and work out what you can do.
3. BE POLITICAL
- This is your opportunity to vote for someone who is representative of you and your views and will make the environment a top priority.
- Being politically engaged is not limited to voting. Every year more and more young people are working together to show our political leaders that they want change. Be a part of that.
- Lobby your representatives to support and fund public transportation.
- We need to hold our politicians accountable. You can do that by contacting your local representatives or attending constituency meetings where you will have an opportunity to make your voice heard.
IT TURNS OUT WE’RE OUR ONLY HOPE
The ultimate democracy project turns out to be each of us working individually and together to reverse climate change and our pollution of Mother Earth.