Easy Ways to Go Green
By Shanice, age 15, South Africa
Going green doesn't necessarily mean switching your awesome car for a hybrid or eating veggies all the time. The smallest of changes make a difference.
That's the first thing I ask when people tell me to stop using so much electricity. I mean, I live on the TV, computer, and my cell phone, and without them I would die.
Well, not really, but you get the point. I need electricity like a fish needs water. But using up electricity means that more electricity has to be produced. When more electricity has to be produced then more coal is used. And the burning of coal is VERY, VERY harmful to the environment. It contributes to global warming, the melting of the polar ice caps, and the end of the world as we know it.
And that's not all. There's more than just saving electricity. There's air pollution, land pollution, water pollution, wastage of water, etc.
Think about the movie 2012. Everyone believes that the world WILL end in 2012, but if we make a few changes, it won't have to be that way!
I don't know about you, but I would like the world to still be around for my kids and their kids.
Here's the fun part. It doesn't take much to save. Like they say, "Every bit counts." Whoever 'they' were, 'they' were right.
1. Switch off the tap when you're brushing your teeth. Not only do you save water, but you save yourself the hassle of listening to the tap running. And you save the fish, of course.
2. Walk or cycle more often. Why use the car when the weather is good and you can walk? You can lose a few kilos too. Get a friend to join you and it'll be super-fun!
3. Follow the three R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Reduce your waste (i.e. stop throwing away your plastic packets), reuse old items (yogurt containers can be used to make jelly!) and recycle (plastic, paper, glass).
4. Stop littering. I'm not saying you should pick up litter, although that is a good idea. Just don't throw litter. In fact, if it's possible, speak to someone at your school to organize 'Litter Monitors' or a 'Clean-up' day. You could even make badges for the monitors or the person who picks up the most litter.
5. Cut down on electricity. I could write a book on this. Don't leave the computer on standby; it uses up 80% of the electricity it would use if it were on. Use the aircon sparingly - it uses up the most electricity. Use the clothes dryer, hair dryer, straightener and curling tongs only when necessary.
6. Plant a tree. Imagine a world without trees. No wooden furniture, no paper (which means no magazines, let me add), and no forests. I shudder at the thought.
So, you see, it doesn't take much to save. And you can still have your car and your carnivorous ways!