Humanity’s harmful habits are too much to handle
By Kim Sorenson, News Editor
Most people on Earth seem to take this wonderful planet for granted. They relentlessly drill for oil, are careless with the waste they produce and deplete the planet of its resources. However, the earth cannot take this strain for much longer. With over 7 billion people plus all of the plants, animals, insects, fish to support, resources are becoming very limited. Fresh water is becoming more rare as well as clean air. Despite enormous amounts of food waste, there are millions of undernourished and starving people around the world. These problems do not have one clear solution, but there are ways that every person can help.
Eco-friendly habits have a bad reputation in the news. They are seen as things that only hippies and progressives do or care about, but they are things that could ultimately help save the planet. Simple things, such as turning off lights when leaving a room or using less water, can go a long way in reducing the amount of resources that a person uses. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), electricity and heat production account for 25 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions, so cutting back on the amount of electricity used or the temperature of the thermostat in the winter can go a long way. Another way to cut down on waste is to save leftovers, recycle and to switch light bulbs from incandescent to LED. A lot of eco-friendly habits are very easy and require minimal effort, but many feel they are just too difficult or don’t care about the effect they are having on the environment.
Many eco-conscious actions help people save money, as well as help save the planet. Reducing energy use and water consumption can lend a hand to greatly reduce water and electricity bills. Opting to car pool instead of drive separately can save on gas money along with gas emissions, which are extremely harmful to the environment. Transportation is responsible for 14 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the EPA, so carpooling or using public transportation can make a big difference.
It is almost ignorant to not switch to more planet-friendly practices, since they end up supporting the earth. Furthermore, people can collect returnable cans and bottles instead of throwing them in the trash. In Michigan, those bottles and cans are worth 10 cents a piece, which can add up to a fair amount of money that can be redeemed at any bottle return.
It is wise to buy locally grown produce rather than fruits and vegetables that have been imported. This not only supports local farms and growers, but cuts down on the amount of gas and other resources used in transportation. Cooking locally grown produce at home will save money on dining costs, and allows the cook to more accurately determine how much to use so food waste can be reduced.
Waste and carelessness are huge problems in the United States and around the world. Any one person’s actions make more of an impact than they realize, for better or for worse. Though simple actions, such as shutting off lights or recycling may seem unimportant or pointless, they will add up to something much greater. With everyone contributing, great changes can be made in the environment, which can ultimately lead to a healthier world.