The impact humans have, and the impact that you can make

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Stacks and stacks of crushed plastic bottles and cans

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Stacks and stacks of crushed plastic bottles and cans

Rising tides, stronger hurricanes, higher temperatures, and more are coming our way, and a lot faster than anyone ever thought they would. NASA predicts that the impact that humans have made on the planet will continue for centuries to come, and only get worse with the more humans do. Human disturbances like deforestation, emission of greenhouse gasses, pollution, and more have only been on the rise.The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is a board made up of over 1,300 scientists from around the world, and they have come to a consensus that within the next century, temperatures could rise anywhere from 2.5 to 10 degrees, and the environmental impacts that would the change bring on would be horrific. Amounts of precipitation will increase significantly in areas with low rates now, and decrease in the places that desperately need rain. Bigger and harsher natural disasters will continue coming, as a result of the intense and sudden changes that humans have induced.  If these events can express anything to the human race, it’s a very stern message that real change needs to come soon.

It is surprisingly easy to take care of the Earth. By following simple steps, small things can lead to habits, and simply become part of daily life. It is probably very likely that these are rules that you have heard your entire life, but now more than ever it is extremely important to follow through on them. One simple task would be to unplug any electronic devices when they are not in use. Even without being used, anything plugged in will still use electricity, so this could cut down on the electric bill while also helping the Earth. Another easy step is to not idle while waiting in the car. It is so easy to forget that the car is even running while waiting for something, but those measly minutes spent running the engine without it being necessary only significantly adds to the amount of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere. A final idea that could save the family money is to invest in anything reusable. This includes shopping bags, water bottles, tupperware, and much more. If you needed some more encouragement to go reusable, scientists have said that only around 1% of plastic bags are recycled in the US each year, and about a million birds, and thousands of sea animals are killed each year by suffocation. For every time you use a reusable bag, you are personally cutting down on what can be later found in landfills and the ocean.

It can be very intimidating to look at all the work that humans need to do in order to get the environmental status of the world back on track. It is also very easy to think that one small act won’t have any impact in the long run, but it is all the small acts that come together to get the human race moving in the right direction. As Eduardo Galeano once said, “many small people, in small places, doing small things can change the world”.

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