Doing Our Part

Desirae - Columbia, South Carolina
Entered on January 27, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: environment

Doing Our Part

“We do not inherit the land from our fathers, we borrow it from our children,” says an old Indian proverb. Although I am not currently a mother, I know that when I have children I want them to grow up happy, healthy, and safe. However, there is a growing obstacle that has the potential to stand in the way of this dream of mine and any responsible parent: the declining state of our environment.

Time and time again as I have been driving down the interstate I’ve seen trash thrown to the wayside. Anyone who has been to Las Angels knows that the view of the mountains is almost entirely obscured by the opaque brown-grey smog that hovers in the air like a virus. And who recycles? My college has a recycling program that I would guess only about half the students here use. Why is it that so many people, despite their knowledge of the decadence of our habitat consist in not caring what happens to our shared home?

The task of taking care of the environment belongs to all of us. Just like in a house where the chores are divided between the people, each person on the planet should feel that it is their personal responsibility to clean up after themselves. Our responsibilities include recycling, driving more fuel efficient cars, and finding newer ways to power our homes through renewable resources such as wind, water, or solar power. Most electricity comes from power plants that are run by coal burning. This is one of the least efficient and most pollutant causing ways of producing electricity. The carbon monoxide that is released through coal burning floats up into the upper atmosphere and creates a chemical reaction that lessens the amount of ozone, which primarily composes our atmosphere. The disappearance of ozone is what is causing the world’s climate change. Also, as ozone disappears from the atmosphere, skin cancer will increase because more ultraviolet rays—the harmful rays of the sun that cause skin cancer—will be let into the atmosphere.

It is my fervent belief that everyone should do their part in taking care of our earth. The earth is our home, and we only get one. Our houses are well taken care of, are they not? Most people delight in coming home to a clean house that is not saturated with the foul stench of carbon monoxide or littered with garbage. Should not the earth—our one true home—be taken care of with the same respect? Once this earth becomes uninhabitable by the skyscraper-tall towers of rubbish and poisonous gases that have been substituted for oxygen, this planet cannot be bulldozed like some condemned building. We will be forced to stick it out and live amongst our own filth, and that is not a fate that I would want for my children.