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Changing Bad Habits: The Key to Saving the Environment

By: Grant Walters

To put it simply, we have a dire environmental problem. There’s no denying that climate change doesn’t have a substantial impact on everyday life. In our everyday lives, we witness the powerful effects that climate change has brought upon the Earth, which have been detrimental to vast aspects of all life and human society. However, this doesn’t mean we can give up on the environment, since it’s our duty to help restore it and persevere to leave a sustainable Earth for posterity. Many may think that environmentalists or scientists are the only people that can save the environment and are the ones that hold the mantle of responsibility to assist the Earth; however, this is far from the truth. It can even be said that ordinary people not only can aid in the effort to save the Earth, but are, in fact, the people that the future of our environment relies on. Through some easy, simple, and cheap changes to your life outlined in this article, you can have a strong impact in the fight to save our Earth. 



(Factory producing pollution)


One very simple yet beneficial change is to use reusable items, such as reusable bags, straws, and bottles instead of one-use plastic items that eventually end up in landfills or are littered in places like the oceans. Not only is this change easy to implement, it is also much more efficient than having to get things such as plastic bags every time you go to the grocery store. In fact, many grocery and retail stores across the country charge money for plastic bags or no longer provide plastic bags for customers, further emphasizing the benefits of this change since plastic bags are becoming less and less available (Paskill). You can also print less paper and be more conscientious about the amount of paper you’re using. This is due to the fact that the making of paper is detrimental to the environment, especially concerning deforestation. For example, instead of using paper to turn in assignments for school, you can politely request to complete your assignments using a web application such as Google Docs and then send the assignment through Gmail to the teacher (Paskill). It might seem strange to argue for the use of computers as an environmental activist, but this is much better than printing out an excess of paper for assignments. 



(Individual carrying plastic bags)


You can also conserve water as a daily practice to help save the environment. Although this may present minuscule inconveniences for many people, it’s still an extremely easy and environmentally friendly change in your life. Three ways you can preserve water include: using excess water to water your plants if you have them; not using water when brushing your teeth; and either investing in a water-saving shower head or setting a timer for two minutes or less when you’re in the shower (Between the Lines). Although there are many simple changes you can make to your habits to aid the environment, this article will focus on one more: Fashion. As teenagers, many of us obsess over fashion, feeling pressured to spend an abundance of money on an assortment of clothes and accessories in order to fit in and impress others, amounting in a build-up of unused clothes. This can impact the environment in a negative way, since many fabrics, such as polyester, nylon, polyamide, and acrylic release tiny pollutants, which make their way into water systems (Spary). By buying less clothes and using only the clothes that you currently possess, you 1) don’t have to waste your valuable money on unnecessary clothes and 2) aren’t contributing to the emission of these tiny pollutants. 


(Earth in a fish tank)


Now, you have various methods to help contribute in the battle to save the environment through simple changes in your daily life! Experiment and try some of these methods out, so we can save the Earth together! An accumulation of these environment-saving tactics throughout society is going to make a difference, so make it count. 


Image Citations: 

  1. The Conversation

  2. The New York Times 

  3. Huff Post

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