The benefits of being aware.

March 27, 2019

Human beings merely consist of 0.01 percent of all living things in the world. Despite our miniscule size in the grand scheme of life, the impact of humanity on the environment can be considered the most detrimental. Most human activities cause direct or indirect damage to the oceans, wildlife and atmosphere. Our lifestyles do require us to modify the environment to some extent, however this does not entail the destruction of it.

Being environmentally-conscious does not necessarily mean altering one’s entire lifestyle, rather it is about promoting awareness and doing minor things that will contribute to improvement in the long-run. Some activities are simple and can be incorporated into a daily routine. For example, instead of throwing away the empty water bottles you found in the backseat of your car, you can take the minimal effort of placing them in the recycling bin.

However, items should not be recycled without knowing if it is recyclable. In fact, most Americans recycle the wrong materials and the average contamination rate of the items recycled in 2018 was 25 percent. Also, some items that can be recycled in one county may not be recyclable in another. It is important to educate oneself on what is considered recyclable in the county of their residence.

Senior Austin Gatlin revealed how he was unaware of the high contamination rate of recycled material, “I never realized until recently how detrimental recycling wrong material can be.”

The act of conservation should be practiced as well. As young children we are taught to turn off the lights when we exit a room and to not leave the tap running while we brush our teeth. However, we sometimes forget how these simple acts can save millions of kilowatt hours of energy. By adjusting these tasks, the reduction of your carbon footprint will follow.

Activities that reduce your carbon footprint include starting a compost pile of kitchen scraps, getting energy efficient appliances, and donating your old clothes.

Simply educating oneself on the ‘greener alternatives’ allows for better decisions and cheaper and healthier options.

Senior Alana Brinley talks about the measures she takesto be environmentally conscious, “When I know I’m going to go out to eat, I bring a metal straw to use in place of the plastic straws that are usually provided.”

There is always the morbid argument that despite all the efforts we put to rekindle our faults, the world is inevitably doomed. While that may be true, the moral reasoning that you can apply is that
your reduced carbon footprint along with others’ reduced carbon footprints can set forth the process of improvement.

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