Global warming, increase in the average temperature of the atmosphere, oceans, and landmasses of earth. The planet has warmed and cooled many times during the 4,65 billion years of its history. At present, earth appears to be facing a rapid warming, which most scientists believe results, at least in part, from human activities. The chief cause of this warming is thought to be the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, which releases into the atmosphere carbon dioxide and other substances known as greenhouse gases. As the atmosphere becomes richer in these gases, it becomes a better insulator, retaining more of the heat provided to the planet by the Sun.
Today, the environmental problems facing the world are enormous. Earth’s finite resources are being stretched to the limit by rapid population growth, air, water and soil pollution, and much more. Global warming as we know can be spurred by our use of fossil fuels for energy and transportation as well as mass-scale agriculture and other human activities, threatens to push our planet beyond its ability to sustain human life unless we can meet the growing need for food, energy and economic opportunity within a sustainable environment.
In the face of such huge global problems, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless, and to find ourselves asking, “What difference can one person make?” Many people is not too confident to do something to overcome this problem because they always think that if I do something as myself it will be give nothing to the world. It is not good to think like that. Because of each of us has the power through our daily decisions and lifestyle choices to make our life, homes, and communities more environmentally friendly. But our power doesn’t end there. There is no question that solving many of the problems currently threatening our global environment will require the resources and enlightened action of government and industry. Yet, because government and industry exist to serve the needs of their citizens and customers, how you live your life, the demands you and your neighbors make for products and services that help to sustain rather than erode the environment, will influence those actions and, ultimately, the future of planet Earth. It has never been more important, or more urgent, for you and people everywhere to take personal action and to adopt a sustainable consumption in green lifestyle.
The responsibility to solve this global problem not only can be taken by adult but also by youth as the future generation. The fact said that more than one-fourth of the world’s six billion people are between the ages of 10 and 24, the largest group ever to enter the adulthood. So, the youth populations are a valuable asset as we are the successors upon whom a country depends for the continuity of development. Maybe, we as youth still don’t realize that we must take the responsibility to take care of our environment for the continuity of human being. We can give our contribution as youth by increasing our environmental awareness and then realized that awareness by real action together with our community. Slowly but sure by doing simple step of action that we do together with our community continuously, we can change the world to be the better place for now and our next generation. Like an anthropologist, Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
As youth we have power to take care our environment by changing our behaviors or lifestyle and also our consumption attitude. Basically we should stop doing those things that are destructive to the environment, other creatures, and ourselves, and figure out new ways of existing. So let make some changes in the way you live your life. Here are a few simple ways we can get started:
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
We can reduce waste by choosing reusable products instead of disposables. Buying products with minimal packaging and whenever we can, try to recycle paper, plastic, newspaper, glass, and so on. Nowadays there is some recycling program that is held by community, school, or workplace that we can join. The fact is by recycling half of our household waste, we can save about 2.400 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.
In the store we can try to use reusable shopping bags instead use paper or plastic bags. So in the next time the clerk at our favorite store asks whether you prefer “paper or plastic” for your purchases, consider giving the truly eco-friendly response and saying “neither.” Plastic bags end up as litter that fouls the landscape, and kill thousands of marine mammals every year that mistake the floating bags for food. Plastic bags that get buried in landfills may take up to 1,000 years to break down, and in the process they separate into smaller and smaller toxic particles that contaminate soil and water. Furthermore, the production of plastic bags consume millions of gallons of oil that could be used for fuel and heating. Paper bags, which many people consider a better alternative to plastic bags, carry their own set of environmental problems. For example, according to the American Forest and Paper Association, in 1999 the U.S. alone used 10 billion paper grocery bags, which consumed 14 million trees.
We as a youth, for sure will use many paper to do our task at school, university or our workplace. We can stop to use paper that is so important for us. But it doesn’t mean that we can do nothing. We must use paper wisely, don’t waste our consumption of paper. Now, there are some paper company produce their paper product that save to the environment by produce recycle paper. It is a good choice to use recycling paper.
Use Energy and Water Wisely
We can save electricity and reduce global warming by turning off lights when we leave a room and using only as much light as we need. And always remember to turn off television, video player, stereo and computer when we are not using them. We can also use less air conditioning. Turn down the air conditioning while we are sleeping at night or away during the day, and keep temperatures moderate at all times. It is also a good idea to turn off the water when we are not using it. While brushing teeth, shampooing the pet or washing car or motorcycle, turn off the water until we actually need it for rinsing. By doing this, we can reduce our water bill and help to conserve a vital resource.
Eat Locally Grown Food or Organic Food
In our modern age of food preservatives and additives, and also genetically modifying food, people are increasingly concerned about the quality and cleanliness of the foods they eat. Given the impossibility of identifying the pesticides used and the route taken to grow and transport to our local supermarket, foods grown locally make a lot of sense for those who want more control over what they put into their bodies. Eating locally grown food even helps in the fight against global warming. Buying locally produced food eliminates the need for all that fuel-guzzling transportation. We can also consume organic
food that is healthier and also good to our environment.
Use Public Transportation
This is one of the best things that we can do to help reduce global warming and let alone air pollution. We can walk or ride a bicycle for short trips or take public transportation for longer ones. We can practice this when we go to our school, university or our workplace. Either way, we will significantly reduce the amount of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions we generate each day. By using public transportation we can save more than we spend on food.
If we have the means to plant a tree, of course we must start digging firstly. During photosynthesis, trees and other plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. They are an integral part of the natural atmospheric exchange cycle here on earth, but there are too few of them to fully counter the increases in carbon dioxide caused by automobile traffic, manufacturing and other human activities. A single tree will absorb approximately one ton of carbon dioxide during its lifetime. We can encourage others (our community) by campaigning to plant trees. We can also do this simple thing, give a tree (whatever kind of trees it is up to us) as a birthday present to our friends. By giving this kind of present we can encourage our friend to plant tree and love the environment.
- Encourage Others to Conserve
The last but not least we must encourage others to conserve too. Share information about recycling and energy conservation with our friends, our families, and neighbors, and take opportunities to encourage public officials to establish programs and policies that are good for the environment. We can do nothing if we just action by ourselves. Everything will be good if we take action together. And together we make earth to be a better place to life.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s action now!
*Essay ini khusus ditulis buat apply scholarship ikutan The 5th International Eco-Leadership Youth Camp tgl 13-15 Agustus di Seoul, Korea. Doain bisa dapet scholarshipnya… Amin…. Ya seganya klo misalnya ga jadi ke Palestine, bisa diganti dgn kegiatan bermanfaat laennya… SMangat!!