“When it comes to climate change, you must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Happy Earth Day! Every year on April 22nd, people all around the world celebrate our planet and renew our commitment to take care of it.   Earth day started in 1970, that means 49 years have passed but the environment has unfortunately gotten worse. This is why we should rethink our everyday actions that deeply affect the planet and commit to taking bold moves to save it instead.  Each year, Earth Day has a theme, and in 2019, the theme is to protect and preserve animals and nature. With climate change and shifting habitats, animals are facing the greatest threats of extinction ever. In fact, the threat of extinction hasn’t been this bad since dinosaurs were lost 60 million years ago. The major difference is that dinosaurs became extinct because of a natural disasters, while today it is human actions that are putting our planet at risk. Over 200 species become extinct every day because of human actions, and I was saddened to learn that a single human wastes 56 tons of trash and plastic per year.  

But there are many ways we can all make a difference and help.  A fun and useful way of improving the Earth, that families and friends can work together on, is by planting gardens.  Community gardens have become popular in places where people want to help make the environment better. These gardens are used to grow food for local families, schools, homeless shelters, and animals, create more natural habitats, and create oxygen. There are other small everyday changes that can help.  For example, carpooling, using reusable straws, reusable shopping bags instead of plastic, taking shorter showers, turning faucets off, turning lights off, throwing trash away in proper bins, and composting all are every day actions that improve our environment.

Earth day is an important reminder to all of us to do better.  What we do today affects the future; we need to act. I take inspiration from Greta Thunberg, a 16 year-old girl from Stockholm, Sweden, who was effective in getting the whole world to be aware of climate change. Greta spoke out and is holding the adults in power accountable for not doing enough to solve climate change. In 2018, Greta started to sit down outside the Swedish Parliament on every Friday, instead of school to protest. Greta said, “Some people said that I should be in school instead. Some people say that I should be studying, to become a climate scientist so I can solve the climate crisis. But the climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions we need. All we have to do is wake up and change. And why should I be studying for a future that soon will be no more? When no one is doing anything to save that future.” She thinks its so strange that we are in the middle of a mass extinction, but no one even cares; like the crisis isn’t even happening. She also says that, “People keep doing what they do because the vast majority does not have a clue about the actual consequences of their everyday life”.  Greta Thunberg is what many people call, “A Climate Change Warrior”. She started by doing something simple- using her voice- for a purpose she cared about. And now, the world is fighting alongside her.

Today, and even when it isn’t Earth Day, we can do our part to take care of our planet, and help others do the same.

Author

Olivia Cohn is an eleven year old from Westport Connecticut. She is the 2018 winner of the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Exposition, she also won the I SEE HER INVENT award from CA Technologies.

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