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Ipsha Maharjan

Delmar Senior HS, 9th grade

Why We Should Save Our Planet

I have lived in many states on the East Coast, but have spent the majority of my life in Delaware. During my time there, I lived in an apartment with a small surrounding forest, and a paved dirt path I walked through in the afternoons. Although I cannot remember much of how life was back then, something that greatly stood out to me was the landscape and weather. The landscapes were often less flat, and there was a visual interest in trees and hills. The weather also showed a smoother transition from summer to fall, and snow fell much more often. The seasons seemed to have more structure, and each month had a distinct weather pattern, whereas today, the weather is sporadic and uncertain. Irregular weather patterns are among the many effects of climate change. Delaware is not an especially warm or cold state, but I experienced colder winters when living in Pennsylvania. My most striking memory from my years was the sheer amount of snowfall we received every year. Although I was young, I still remember how wonderful the month of December was. The more I reminisce about my childhood, the more I realize how well off I was, and how differently I used to view the world.

As I got older, I also noticed the lack of connection to nature, and how spending time outdoors is not as pushed as it should be. Many forget the importance of spending time outdoors, and how healing nature can be. Staying indoors in school, surrounded by fluorescent lights and closed windows, makes the outside world distant. However, nature seemed much more accessible, and schools tended to prioritize spending time outdoors. One way this was done was by having recess and setting time to spend outside. As students grow older, recess is removed from their schedule, but this does not mean that they cannot spend time outdoors during school hours. One of the schools I attended had art classes where we would go outside and draw on what was around us, finding ways to incorporate nature into learning. I found it interesting at the time, and I believe that many students would appreciate leaving their classrooms and finding connections outdoors. Having students and young people connect with nature can lead them to care more about the planet and want to protect it. Another way to involve younger people is to create accessible clubs and school organizations.

When I look back at older photographs, I notice a change in the overall personality of what I used to call home. Playgrounds and community buildings were more common, and higher-quality buildings were built. Nowadays, many apartments and houses look plain and are made of weaker materials. I currently live in Maryland, a neighborhood where housing companies slowly remove almost all the trees and grass that ever stood there. When I go out on walks, I can see how the land becomes flatter and paved over, making way for houses that will be built within a few short months. I also find many multistory apartments being built, and how the amount of forests present in the state drastically decreases. Although the natural progression of neighborhoods is expanding, natural greenery is being destroyed without restoration, which will greatly affect the environment.

My childhood was full of wonder and nature, which is something not as many children nowadays will experience. The newer generations will start and continue to struggle because of the actions of those before them, and many will not be raised in the same environments we were. Newer generations will have to deal with the effects of climate change and watch as the planet slowly deteriorates. The lack of forests leads to poor air quality and health issues for many, which is something that we have seen before. Around a year ago, the air in New York had been extremely polluted, giving the city an orange hue. At the time, the news seemed unreal, as pollution often did not become visible in such a striking way. This is a visual reminder of the true effects of planet warming. To try and combat the ever-evolving issue of climate change, it must first be taken seriously by the public.

First, it is necessary to define climate change. Climate change is exactly what it sounds like changes in the earth’s temperature, whether it is getting hotter or colder. Although the Earth has had both warming and cooling periods in the past, carbon emissions and greenhouse gases accelerate the heating process by destroying the atmosphere. These gases harm the environment by trapping in heat and making the planet warmer. Many elements contribute to climate change, and therefore, there are many ways to help combat it. Some widespread ideas to help solve the issue of climate change include planting more trees and cutting down on the use of plastic. However, the problem will not be fully resolved until harmful practices, such as burning fossil fuels, come to an end. This leads many to believe that they cannot create a difference in the act of saving the planet. However, an average person can help the planet become a better place by recycling and using sustainable products. People can also choose to conserve energy by using LED light bulbs and sustainable transportation such as biking or walking when possible. I also believe that we can use social media to help spread awareness and correct information.

I have watched as the world around me has gone through drastic changes, considering the health of our planet. Climate change is beginning to be visually apparent through smoggy skies and a lack of trees and nature. We need to act now to save the planet we call home. We can help support the end of climate change by reducing waste and single-use plastic. Utilizing bikes and walking to save energy can help with one’s health, as well as the health of the planet. Schools can also play a role, as they house hundreds of young children who can be inspired to evoke change. I also believe that schools should integrate nature into learning and crafting lessons that support children’s wonder about the world around them. With sufficient clubs, organizations, and awareness, we can save our planet over time. I experienced a childhood full of nature, and I hope that if we act now, children from the newer generations will feel the same.

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