''I don't think our school should be using so many plastic cups'', I said to a dear friend one day.
''Oh stop it, it's nothing'', she replied: ''Why do you even care?''
I was baffled by her hideous response. Why do I care? As if the world has been doing great until now, as if this was the first strike on the part of humanity.
I was sincerely hoping this world was paving the way in educating people ravenous for knowledge. Perhaps not only ''school'' knowledge but also about our ferocious planet Earth that we have been oh so carelessly destroying day by day. We have not all been doing our part, our behaviour is atrocious. I am utterly furious about the current state. Yes, so many people are trying extremely hard to preserve life on Earth, but the sad truth is that the vast majority still take this exquisite world for granted. I am in no way implying that I am doing everything I can because the truth is I could be doing much more, but it is also insanely important to realize in what aspect we are lacking to lure our focus there.
Maybe once the temperatures are scolding, when there is invincible drought somewhere and never-ending rain elsewhere… maybe then we will awaken and realize this solemn error. A fault that we have all been part-taking in enlargening.
I have seen people get upset with people pointing out the flaws and not advising how to improve them. I am not keen on those so-called empty words myself. While it is a crucial part to understand the situation many people do not care to do the research, so it is every wise individual's job to inform people about the perilous acts we are doing.
So let us take a look at some data to get all of you statistics freaks on my side as well. If you look at various researches you may come across some hard to understand. Let us make it simple.
Non-renewable energy sources are the most used in our daily life. For example oil, coal and natural gas, collectivelly called as fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels produces around 21.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. The estimation is that natural processes can only absorb half of that amount, so there is an increase of around 11 billion tonnes of atmospheric carbon dioxide per year. Carbon emissions trap heat which leads to climate change. If we stopped burning fossil fuels right now, the Earth would continue warming up for decades (because of the heat already produced) before it would finally stabilize at a level much higher.
About 14 million tons (about two million elephants) of plastic enter the ocean every year, 40% of which falls into the category of single-use plastic. Scientists estimate that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in oceans worldwide, which is more plastic than stars in our galaxy.
We walk through a typical supermarket. There are numerous things all around us that are supposed to make our lives easier: soda bottles, sandwiches in plastic wrapping, individually wrapped candy, disposable razors, diapers, mouthwash bottles. These items are not a necessity. Neither is the plastic bag you get at a checkout. This is not something we put much thought into, right? These are not the things we usually deem as unfair when thinking about the planet. Walking around the store everyday, buying these ''comfort'' items, we fail to realize that one day very soon the packaging or the whole thing is going to end up in the ocean as a threat to many species. Since 1500, 15 ocean species have gone extinct and many more are endangered.
The easiest thing we can do is use public transport or better yet walk, reuse products, recycle, take our own bags to the store and all in all always think rationally about our actions.
Of course, there are many more problems than the ones I have described, but my idea is that we have to start somewhere. Every step is a vital one in creating or perhaps re-creating a happy and healthy world for everyone.
We should all speak passionately about something so crucial for our life here. It is important to take stand for what you believe in. I wish bravery for everyone. We are all just citizens of planet Earth, but can also be such a powerful force when we unite.
''I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do.'' – Jana Stanfield
I'm still close with my friend despite the argument. Hopefully one day she and anyone who shares the same uninterested look when someone talks about the issues of this world realize the importance of it all. :)