Little Ways to Go Green

Leila Harper, Beyond the Gates editor

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Our planet’s health is in a steep decline. Previous generations have soiled Earth by hunting animals for sport, polluting the air and destroying the ozone layer with chemicals, putting trash in the ocean, trampling ocean wildlife, deforestation, and more. While not everything wrong with the planet is because of the earlier generations, a large portion of recent destruction is the fault of big corporations. Individual people create small carbon footprints compared to companies dedicated to selling their product.

As individuals, though, people can always chip in to make a difference; whether that’s by doing something like joining GreenPeace to boycott every plastic company, or just switching to reusable grocery bags. Swapping almost any product that is customarily one-use to something reusable can go a long way. Coffee cups are a good example. What’s $15 for a reusable Starbucks cup to contributing to the paper cup landfill?

Since elementary school, students have been encouraged to: reduce, reuse, recycle. It’s really the best thing we can do to help the environment. Children are encouraged to not waste food, but 40% of all food Americans buy still goes to waste in the trash.

People can opt to repair a broken appliance—or anything—before buying a new one; and donate things they don’t need anymore, including food or clothing. It’s good for the environment and helps out people in need.

A rather easy trick is to skip out on plastic cutlery when getting takeout. People can also help go green by saving energy. Simple tricks like turning off the lights in empty rooms, using a fan instead of the air conditioning, investing in a good blanket for the colder months instead of turning on the heater, filling up the dishwasher completely before running it, turning off the water when brushing teeth, taking shorter showers, and using reusable batteries when possible all contribute to a healthier environment.

The planet has been through so much wear and tear. Humans are on a much faster route to polluting it to the point of inhabitability than ever before, but remembering that even the smallest step can make an impact can turn that route around. The more steps people take together, the more likely that the planet can be nursed back to health.

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