We must help our home


Unsplash/ Antoine GIRET

In honor of Earth Day on Thursday, Staff Reporter Aarya Oswal shares how humans have been harming the Earth for thousands of years, and she shares ways to help slow down the damage.

Aarya Oswal, Staff Reporter

We treat our home badly. By home, I mean our planet Earth. And by badly, I mean with shockingly egregious and complete and utter contempt. Of course, there are a few who actually care about the planet and try to make some effort to try and change the destructive repercussions we will face if nothing is done now, but for the most part, humanity seems to live out the last of their days without giving a care. Ex-Senator Gaylord Nelson saw the obstacles humankind brought upon itself, and in the year 1970, he created Earth Day (celebrated Thursday) to remind people of the fact that this beautiful planet we reside on needs to remain that way.

Every human related activity such as driving cars and pumping oil – to name a few – are the causes of the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect, according to Earth.org, is when the Earth constricts all of the gasses and traps it within the Earth’s atmosphere. Glaciers are melting, oceans are rising, and the increase of climate extremes such as flooding, tornadoes, and hurricanes are just some effects of climate change.

It’s no hidden fact that the Earth is warming up. It’s been proven that due to the rise in carbon dioxide emissions, the Earth has warmed up 2.12 ℉ just in the last 40 years as a result of  human activity. Pretty scary considering the human race has populated this terrene for more than 4 million years and all this has happened in just four decades. 

What can you do?

  • Reduce the amount of unnecessary car trips you take. 
  • Invest in reusable energy sources to power your electrical necessities. 
  • Don’t waste any energy that you aren’t utilizing such as turning off the lights when you leave the room. 

None of this will solve the problem, but little things like this may help buy us time to try to stop the problem from progressing, and hopefully allow us to find a solution that could reverse this moribund process.

Excess carbon dioxide emissions aren’t the only cause for the untimely demise of this planet. Waste – more specifically, plastic waste – kills hundreds of thousands if not millions of biological life forms each year. The straws we use to drink our strawberry smoothies find their way into the stomachs of sea turtles. The plastic holders used to keep soda cans together find their way around the beaks of seagulls.

Plastic is not a biodegradable product, hence, you get 100 million marine animals with plastic in their stomachs, releasing chemicals in their bodily systems that will end up killing them. And there’s the food chain to consider after that. Predators of these animals will eat them, not knowing it is toxic, eventually killing them too. Those predators who haven’t died from consuming the infected animals will somehow end up in the dinner plates of humans. And you guessed it. When people eat these pernicious animals, they also consume the toxins from the plastics. It becomes a whole cycle as you can see.

Consider limiting if not stopping the use of plastics in your-day-to-day life. Replace the plastic straws with metal ones. Don’t buy the pack-of-six soda containers surrounded by plastic from the gas station – actually, consider not buying them at all since it’s not very healthy anyways. Recycle properly as much and as often as you can. There’s so many minor things you could change in your daily routine that don’t require much effort which could majorly benefit this Earth.

Animal species are not the only thing disappearing by the day, as acres of rainforest continue to be chopped down for agricultural and economical purposes. Land depletion is not only allowing carbon dioxide emissions to rise – plants consume CO2 as energy intake; if there are less plants to take in this gas, there will be more CO2 in the atmosphere – but also displacing millions of animals from their homes. 

Animal displacement, deforestation, global warming and climate change, toxic environments – just to name a few – are all problems caused by humans. Mother nature provides us with everything we need. I mean this quite literally. So how about giving back for a change. Clean up litter you see on the sidewalk and dispose of it properly. Don’t leave the water running while you brush your teeth. If you ever go to a beach, spend some time trying to clean it up. Listen to your mother and finish your food. Even though Apr. 22 is a specific day that commemorates our planet Earth, don’t just chip in your two cents to help this planet only on this specific date. Instead, pretend every day is Earth Day and give back to this planet Earth which gave so much to you.