By Olivia Gebhardt
It’s time to get your passport and book your trip to London, Venice, and Tonga because they might not be there much longer. By 2050, all of these places will be victims of global warming. On Jan. 15, 2022, an underwater volcano erupted near many small islands, including Tonga. The volcano has been sending fierce tsunamis warnings across all countries that border the Pacific Ocean. Tonga has lost all communication, but Australia and New Zealand are sending aid such as water and other essential supplies. London and Venice are also under threat because they are located below sea level. London is 36 feet underwater and Venice is 3.281 feet underwater. Due to the rise in overall global temperatures, glaciers have melted at an alarming rate because of the rise in water levels and more places are being flooded every day.
It is time to change this catastrophic cycle of destroying our home. Small changes can lead to big outcomes. There are various ways to improve the environment, one of them being recycling. Recycling can turn your peanut butter containers into someone else’s clothes, your straw can be made into a hairbrush, and your water bottle can be turned into a pen. Recycling is our secret weapon to combat pollution of our environment.
One way to start changing is by cutting down on eating meat which will decrease the amount of methane, CO2, and nitrous oxide that goes into the environment. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organizations says that at least 37 percent of the greenhouse gasses come from animal agriculture. There are many meat alternatives to meat such as Beyond Meat, Before the Butcher, and the Impossible Burger that can have the same amount of protein as regular meat. A regular McDonald’s cheeseburger has 15 grams of protein; in contrast, a Beyond Burger has 20 grams of protein.
Furthermore, planting trees is another sufficient way to help the Earth. Trees and other plants take in the carbon dioxide that we exhale to produce oxygen that we inhale. Trees also take in the carbon dioxide that is released when burning fossil fuels. Trees are quite literally our lifeline to saving this Earth. Without trees and plants, we would all most likely die. It can be as simple as planting a tree in your front yard or watering your houseplant that is a huge part of the survival of the planet and ourselves.
Plants may save the world, but they cannot do it alone. Bees are a major factor in pollinating flowers and crops to help them flourish. When these crops thrive then herbivores that eat the plants have a steady supply of food. Bees also produce honey which is rich in vitamins and minerals. The extraction and production of honey also create about 212,000 jobs throughout the world and 1.5 million people benefit from bees and honey. If bees go extinct, not only the environment, but humans will suffer the consequences.
When cars run they burn fossil fuels and release toxic pollution into the air. The burning of fossil fuels can be a huge factor in smog and acid rain. But you are contributing to the destruction of our environment on a daily basis by just driving to school or work. There are many alternatives to driving; you could walk or bike to work or school. If that isn’t an option, then you could always carpool with others going in the same direction as you.
In conclusion, our environment is the top priority in saving the world and humans as a whole. If everyone just makes a few simple changes, then we can help create a better future for our children and their children. It is time to stop the rapid spread of cruelty occurring throughout our world and protect the plants and animals that call this place home.