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How to Save the Earth

How to Save the Earth

Earth Day was April 22. A day where cleaning up the planet is encouraged, and everyone promises to protect the Earth in the future. But, nobody ever does. It might be too much work for their busy schedules, or they might just not know where to start. I’ve tried a few things, and I’ve found them to be effective, easy and stress-free.

1: Pick Up Trash

It sounds too simple, but it’s one of the easiest ways to both save Earth and beautify your community. I was part of the South Riding April Community Clean-up, and when I started, I wasn’t really expecting there to be much I could do. But, within a 10 minute walk from my house was more than a half hour’s worth of trash to clean up. I would walk down to the park and clean up all the fast food wrappers and bottle caps I could find. I’d look up after I was done and feel really proud of myself looking at all that clean, open area. It not only makes the community look beautiful, but it protects our local wildlife as well. 

2: Don’t Litter

I know this kind of goes along with number one, but I really think this needs a bit more explanation. I would go out to pick up trash on Saturday, cleaning for about an hour. Then, the next day, I’d come out not expecting to find anything. I was wrong. Instead, within 24 hours, about the same amount of litter was all over the place where I had just cleaned. I couldn’t believe what had happened. If this much trash can accumulate in a park in a day, how much trash is being tossed around carelessly all over the world? It’s really harmful to the animals who could eat it and get sick, but it’s also really frustrating to everyone who’s actively trying to stop this from happening. 

3: Be Educated and Educate Others

It doesn’t sound like much, but just knowing what the planet is up against is a good way to know how you can help. You can learn a lot from websites such as www.epa.gov, which is the website for the Environmental Protection Agency. Look for pages that end in .org, .gov, and .edu to start your research. Once you know a little bit about what we need to do to protect the planet, start spreading the word! Post on your social media, start a fundraiser to a company trying to make a clean energy alternative, or start a protest. Can’t think of a mission? A couple of people in our community have been trying to petition the HOA to get raccoon-proof trash cans in our local parks (the raccoons keep rooting through the trash and throwing it everywhere). Try to do the same!

4: Pretend the Rest of the Universe Doesn’t Exist

This sounds ridiculous, but it’s necessary. I feel like people are always thinking that if this planet doesn’t work out, scientists can just come up with a way to get us to another life-sustaining planet. It’s entirely possible; the universe is infinite. But, it’s also a distinct possibility that Earth is the only planet that will support life as we know it, so we shouldn’t take it for granted. Besides, even if this other planet does exist, it’s very far away, and it’d take generations to get there with no guarantee that we’d be able to sustain ourselves on the journey.

5: Use Non Toxic Pesticides

It’s spring, and bugs are everywhere, eating your beautiful plants. But what is the price of using a random pesticide you found at the store? When it rains, the water will collect the pesticides through a process called runoff. The runoff empties into larger bodies of water, contaminating them and making them dangerous for both animals and people to drink! There have been incidents in the past where an entire community has had to not turn on any of the faucets because the water that enters the pipes in their homes is toxic. Then, there’s a mad dash to the supermarket to grab all the bottled water before it’s gone. If you don’t want that kind of stress in your life, use organic bug repellents and try to limit the amount of chemicals that could potentially end up in your water supply. You can even make your own! Look for instructions at https://www.rd.com/list/make-own-nontoxic-pesticides/

It doesn’t matter what you do. The sky’s the limit! Just find a way to make your world the best that it can be.

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