The Ripple Effect

Alicia - Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Entered on September 21, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

After half an hour of digging, I unearthed white, leathery eggs in the softly packed sand. While walking along the shore of the Outer Banks in North Carolina, my group had found crawl indentions in the sand leading to the edge of the dunes, telltale signs that a mother sea turtle had made a nest. All twelve of us had gotten down on our hands and knees and carefully searched for the eggs. We discovered an area where the sand was loose, and the untouched eggs were revealed. We protected the nest from predators by putting a cage over it and got the bearings on a GPS device. By the end of my trip with the Green River Preserve group, we had protected three nests. Though it is only three out of the thousands of nests made that summer, it was three more chances that the extinction of sea turtles would slow down. After returning home from this adventure, I realized that there is a lot we can do to help our earth. I believe every person in the world has a role in saving and protecting the environment.

After gazing at the pristine beaches of the rugged North Carolina coast, the streets of my town were a sorry contrast. My neighbor and I walked up and down the entrance to my neighborhood and picked up all of the trash we could find. We scooped up plastic containers and glass bottles to be recycled and the rest we quickly disposed of. When driving down the street a few days later, it was filled with litter just as it had been. As we walked, I remembered that just one aluminum can is able to power a television set for six hours. If the effort could be made to stop littering and recycle more, the degradation of the ozone layer and pollution of the air could be slowed dramatically.

Saving our environment can only be solved by each individual’s efforts, however large or small. Without leaving home, everyone can take small steps to help our planet. While it may not seem like a major contribution to pick up trash along a street, if everyone did that, our neighborhoods and cities would be immaculately clean.

By thinking about the environment first before purchasing or making certain decisions, small modifications can lead to major changes when mass efforts are made to help preserve the earth. We can all be better consumers by buying less or buying from environmentally friendly companies. Other people will see the positive results and perhaps make the changes in their lives.

Just like tossing a pebble into a pond and seeing the ripples spread, one person’s steps to protect our environment inspire others to take action. I believe when future generations look out on their surroundings, they’ll see the legacy I want to leave – a world that is healthy and livable.