This is a guest post by Melanie Hunter, student at Maynard High School.
The world’s going to end in 2012, so who cares about the planet, right? Wrong. Even if the Mayan calendar marked the end of the world, we should not give up trying to save it. In fact, we should do everything we possibly can to stop global warming, start a recycling revolution and promote local food systems. But most importantly, we must gather our friends, summon our neighbors, and rally on towards a greener future. Anything is possible when you have strength in numbers.
Welcome to a teen’s world. Grabbing a pop tart on the way out before rushing to school, cramming the day’s lessons in your head, popping in for five at each of your after school clubs before heading off to your track meet which is an hour away. Then coming home and having dinner before you finish off the day with that beloved homework. We are all busy and often times get burnt out from our hectic schedules. But if every teen in the US donated five minutes of his or her day into positive thinking and brainstorming ways they could help the planet be a safer, healthier place, that would be a lot of brain power that could be generated into lots of energy! And if each person used this energy to do one green act each day, then the planet would be a whole lot happier.
Relying on pedal power rather than gas power to go to the store downtown would be beneficent not only to your body, but also to the atmosphere. Planting your own garden for the summer and making your own compost would boost soil richness in your lawn and provide you with organic nutrients and freshness that you can’t find anywhere in stores. Even reminding a friend to recycle that plastic bottle rather than letting it suffer in the trash could make you feel good about yourself and the environment. It is in all our hearts to protect Mother Nature. We have been bound to her for so long and we are each connected to her in some way. It would be a shame to brush her aside after all she has given us.
As a high school student myself with a lot on my mind each day, I know how difficult it can be to try to balance out one’s energy and find time to think about the larger issues impacting our world. But I have learned that sometimes it takes only a few minutes of one’s time as well as a passionate view on the subject in order to make a difference. At my high school, I try to make a difference by setting good examples. I try to avoid bragging about my green acts and I don’t tend to nag people to recycle their cans and bottles, but I do inspire them. It may take a while, but with constant reminder and out of habit, it is my hope that my peers will latch onto a greener mindset and embrace the future that is in our hands.
It doesn’t take a lot to go green. It’s a fine recipe: a bit of creativity, some logical thinking, and some passion and dedication. And recycling is just the beginning. Getting people to visit more refuges and conservation lands, teaching kids to appreciate the beauty of silence in a quiet wood, and eating locally grown foods and using reusable water bottles (rather than being able to create a statue out of all the plastic water bottles you consumed in a year) is what I consider gaining more momentum. But going the extra mile would mean working with an environmental organization to help clean up your local rivers and attending