We Can Save the Earth

Grace Wallace, Staff Writer

“We are living on the planet as if we have another one to go to” are the wise words of Terri Swearingen. 

  So, ask yourself, “ How can I make my world a better place?” You can start by thinking. 71% of our planet is covered by an ocean. “There is an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces or about 100 million tons of plastic in our oceans. Which is approximately 250 pieces per person.” (Ocean Conservancy). Plastic is one way you can start helping our planet. I know everyone makes fun of metal straws and hydro flasks because of VSCO girls, but not using plastic straws or water bottles is a very good start to saving our planet. Many people try to argue that they recycle their plastic straws or that one straw won’t kill the planet. If every high school student in the U.S. used the excuse, “It’s only one straw,” in one day there would be at least 15.3 million straws used and thrown away. Plastic straws are too lightweight to be recycled, so they go directly to the landfill. From there they are blown into our oceans, where a fish, bird, or sea turtle can get them stuck in their throats or noses and die. So, go on Amazon and buy yourself some reusable cups and straws. If you don’t like metal straws, get some reusable hard plastic straws. Money also isn’t a problem since you get at least eight or ten straws for $8.99. Put them in your bag and then the next time you get that Mcdonald’s sweet tea, tell them you don’t need a straw.

Plastic bags can harm the environment as well. These are a huge problem for marine wildlife. Almost every grocery store gives you plastic bags. If you buy a couple of things and you can easily carry them out to your car, please tell them you don’t need a bag–because you don’t! Or if you’re going on a big grocery run, grab a few reusable bags. You can get 6 reusable bags for around $15. If you forget the reusable bags and you need to use the plastic bags, then reuse them when you get home. Don’t throw them away. You can also take them back when you go shopping again or use them as trash bags in small trash cans. Plastic bags also get blown into the ocean. Many hungry sea turtles see these plastic bags and they eat them, which can kill the turtles.  An example of why the turtles might eat the bag is the picture below, which shows a plastic bag compared to a jellyfish. 

Approximately 1 million marine life animals are killed each year from plastic. We have the capability of stopping that and reducing the casualties by doing small simple acts. We all need to take action and try to make our world a cleaner place to live for ourselves and future generations.