Commentary: The environment needs saving

Humans need to take action to preserve the planet and ensure a future for generations to come

Our planet is dying. 

In the next century, the human species might cease to exist if we don’t start protecting our environment. Currently, the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon, is in flames.

Why? Because of our careless behavior.

According to the World Wildlife Fund’s website, the Amazon rainforest produces approximately 20% of the Earth’s oxygen and is home to millions of exotic species as well as native indigenous people. However, because of recent human activity, it may soon cease to exist.

Humans naturally seek to increase their profits. In other words, our end goal is making more money, by any means necessary.

But our greedy desires have led to the deforestation of the world’s largest rainforest in order for farmers to cultivate land to raise livestock to be sold to large corporations.

With this mentality, I fear our selfish ambitions will be the death of our race. Human preservation starts with preserving our planet.

It is time to look beyond ourselves, because our future is at risk.

It is time to look beyond ourselves, because our future is at risk.

— Sophia Harimoto

Although we might not be able to save the Amazon rainforest from destruction physically, there is a multitude of ways we all can take part in helping to preserve our planet and our future.

Whether you consider yourself an extreme environmentalist, an average human being or somewhere along that spectrum, we all have a personal responsibility to take action. In the end, the Earth is the home we all share.

First, educate yourself through credible sources before spreading the word. It is impossible to advocate for something you know little about.

Whenever I hear about an event that interests me, I would research more about it in order to fully understand the details. In this way, I could have educated conversations that are backed up by accurate facts.

We, as a generation, spend hours addicted to our social media timelines, when we should be using our readily available resources to learn about the events that occur outside of our small community.

One of the worst things you could do as a participating member of society is to choose to be ignorant by disregarding real-world problems.

Second, be a responsible consumer and use eco-friendly products when possible. I am sure we are all familiar with the three Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle – but how often do we apply these terms in our daily lives?

This could be easily accomplished by using reusable containers or by discarding recyclables in their respective bins. If you wanted to take it to the next level, reduce your carbon footprint by committing to living off a plant-based diet.

Although adopting a vegan diet is a huge commitment that I am not yet willing to pursue, it could be something that motivates you to help the Earth. We can all improve our planet in different ways, and together we can make a difference.

Third, support non-profit environmental organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund or the Nature Conservancy. Whether you can donate or not, these organizations are great resources to stay connected and further your knowledge of how you can be involved.

There are also many resources on campus in which you can take part in to increase your involvement. Join the GBHS conservation club, Earth First, to find ways in which you can help your school and community.

Now, obviously, I don’t expect you to complete every single suggestion listed, but every single action taken to better our world will benefit our future in the long-run.

Our future is in our hands, and as leaders of the food chain, we have the choice to make a difference before the food chain slowly ceases to exist.