The World is Burning: Why You Should Still Care About the Earth (Even if it Seems Hopeless)

Social IssuesEnvironment

  • Author Izzy Doyle
  • Published May 4, 2023
  • Word count 565

Earth Day was on April 22 this year (of course I forgot about it again) and I am staring at my laptop screen with disdain. I have just finished reading an article that says the rainforests will disappear in 79 years. Biodiversity is the lowest it has ever been, natural disasters are raging, and the Earth is on fire (literally- the Earth is warming 10 times faster than it has in 65 million years).

It can be very difficult for most of us to keep a positive attitude when it seems like the ground below our feet is crumbling and the sky is caving in. Now, the pressure is looming over Gen Z to fix our dying planet, and we are being told that it is already too late to reverse all the damage done from generations past. While it’s easy to point fingers and blame others for the state of the world, doing so isn’t going to unmelt the ice caps or patch the holes in the ozone layer. I also believe that we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to this issue- we can see how far that has gotten us.

There is a middle ground somewhere between complete complacency and panicked despair, but it is hard to reach for many of us, especially the young people of today. All of us respond to the pressure differently. There are activists fighting for the conservation and protection of the Earth every day, along with people who still claim that climate change is a fictional concept.

This Earth Day, I present a challenge to all of you- take that pent-up nihilism and anxiety and turn it into action. And remember that doing something is always better than wallowing in apathy.

  1. Avoid Single-Use Plastics as Much as Possible:

It seems redundant, but ditching plastic really does make a difference! Try starting small by using a refillable water bottle or reusable containers for your meals.

  1. Support Local and Sustainable Businesses:

Shopping local does more than just support small business owners; it helps the environment too! Buying items from local shops reduces your carbon footprint. Do your research and shop at businesses that implement sustainable practices. Buying secondhand is also a great way to remain environmentally conscious while shopping.

  1. Reduce Energy Consumption:

Now more than ever, cities are becoming accessible by bike and on foot. Choosing to walk or bike somewhere, or even carpool wherever possible, can make a difference in your energy consumption. Also, stay mindful of how much energy you consume in your home- you may find that you could turn down the AC a few degrees!

  1. Advocate for Change:

You can advocate for policy change at a local level by contacting currently elected representatives, and supporting organizations that work to enact environmental policies. Focus on educating yourself and others about climate change.

If any of these sound too overwhelming, there are still steps you can take to spread awareness about climate change: You could make a short post on social media, donate to a nonprofit or charity focused on conservation or reforestation, or even support scientific research initiatives for sustainable technologies.

Earth Day is a reminder that we all have a responsibility to protect the planet for future generations. However, it is important to remember to let that responsibility fuel action and advocacy instead of anxiety. Let's work together to create a sustainable future for our planet!

Izzy Doyle is an aspiring writer who is passionate about sharing the things that matter. She believes that words and stories have the power to enact change for the better.

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