As part of The Big Smoke’s Next Gen program, Eloise Viera (10) shares her eco-warrior tips to hopefully keep the planet healthy, urging us all to become superheroes without capes.
Our world is suffering from too much rubbish, starvation, drought, pollution, overpopulation and much more. And if this goes on, our beloved planet will go down, not with a bang, but with a whimper from a bunch of people who could have done something about it, but were too lazy or uninterested to step up to the challenge.
My Year 4 teacher, Mrs Dobbie, is the exact opposite of these uncaring people. She does everything she can to save this planet, and her contributions make a huge difference. She’s also not afraid to tell us the whole truth about the impact humans have on our precious planet.
What does it mean to save the world, and why is it up to us—ordinary people—to do it? To preserve or save Earth has many meanings, like when you see people battling zombies, aliens or zombie aliens on television, in a show about Armageddon. But if you’ve watched movies such as The Day After Tomorrow, you’d know that there is another type of threat to Earth that we seldom think about. Our own human carelessness with the thriving environment that has kept us alive for thousands of years is coming back to haunt us.
As people think less and less about the environment, we are beginning to reap what we sow. For example, damming along major rivers has allowed blue-green algae to bloom, making the remaining river water undrinkable and killing thousands of fish and other river animals.
If you want to save our incredible ecosystem by becoming a superhero without a cape, you’ve come to the perfect place. I think I have a few ideas.
Recycling is the re-use of items that we would usually throw in the garbage bin. These things are typically made from cardboard, paper, plastic, glass or aluminium, such as cereal boxes and drink cans. There are two main ways to recycle that work perfectly for my family and me.
First, it’s time to get crafty! Instead of throwing away cardboard, you can have some fun making useful things. The tubes from toilet paper rolls, for example, could be turned into desk organisers for pens, pencils and other stationery. And that’s much better than buying plastic ones!
Second, as a child, have you ever wondered what the yellow bin is for? Recycling, of course! You can help your parents by making sure that only materials that can be recycled go into the yellow bin, including any scraps of paper you bring home from school. And if there is a Return and Earn machine nearby, you can make some extra pocket money by depositing plastic and glass bottles there.
Wait, they’re the same as the old ones?
Don’t be fooled by supermarkets with their “ban” on single-use plastic bags. Shops may say they’ve banned plastic bags, but guess what? They haven’t. The multi-use bags they now sell are still plastic. Come on people—wake up! Even multi-use bags will eventually find their way into the environment.
A better choice is a fabric bag that won’t break within a year. I know for a fact how great fabric bags are. My family has had some for many years now. They have saved us a huge amount of money and frustration at the disintegrating optimism for the plastic-bag ban.
I’m sure you’ve seen ads on television about saving water. I’m glad that the government is taking notice of the way we use water. But most people still take this critical resource for granted, even though we can’t live without it. Here are a few water-saving ideas that I know will conserve plenty of water.
- If you’re a man, why not try a new look and grow a beard? Every shave you postpone saves up to 30 litres (8 gallons) of water. Amazing, right? Alternatively, just use an electric razor.
- Fix any leaks as soon as you notice them. If you can’t repair them immediately, save the water in a bucket and use it to give your plants a drink.
- Challenge your family to see who can have the shortest shower. If thirty people limit their showers to just two minutes every day for twelve months, they would save a whole pool’s worth of water.
This world needs more people like Mrs Dobbie. In fact, it is her commitment to making the world green again that inspired me to follow in her footsteps and try to motivate others to do the same. If everyone on Earth pitched in and did at least one of the activities mentioned above, saving the planet would be a piece of cake.
As Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once said, “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” That man really knew what he was talking about!
So, what’s it going to be? Change the world for the better, or let it die?
This article is part of a series for The Big Smoke Next Gen.
The Big Smoke Next Gen is a program which matches professional and experienced writers, academics and journalists with students who wish to write non-fiction articles and voice their opinions on what is shaping the nation.
For more information about our program at The Big Smoke, or to become a mentor, please contact us.