Sarah Saxon is a senior at Roland Park Country School working as a BJEN intern this spring. She authored this guest entry.
When I was little I used to think that the only thing that could jeopardize the future of the planet, thus my future, was that the sun was going to explode…eventually. As I got older, in school I started to learn about the infamous green house gasses and the hole in the ozone layer. I learned that the polar ice caps are going to melt and the sea level will rise flooding the coastal states…some day. These things always seemed so far away to me and really not that bad; considering I would already be gone by the time the sun exploded, and if the coastal states flooded I would move inland.
But now I (and the entire world) am faced with an immediate problem that really will affect my future in a drastic way. The truth is I am terrified by what might be the future of this planet. I am terrified by the fact that a large percent of the general public, including corporate executives and officials, know and understand the dangers of their actions and just carry on in their merry way like nothing is happening.
We are using up the world’s resources, we are wasting half of the resources we use, we are polluting the air and water, and all the while becoming less and less humane. So the question is, how can we get word out about what to do to fix this problem? How can we convince people that they need to start changing the way they think about things?
The media is always a good way, but it is not necessarily as effective as we would like it to be. Take a movie, for example. How about “An Inconvenient Truth”. Yes it did have a huge effect on the public, and Al Gore even won the Nobel Peace Prize for his effort. But, how many people are still talking about it today?
I think it is more effective to start small. Talk to your friends and neighbors. Lead by example. I have a friend who never used to recycle. He saw me doing it a lot and he started to become more conscious of the things he was throwing away. Of course he did have a little extra encouragement from me. We were at a restaurant the other day and he saved a plastic bottle just so he could take it home and recycle it. I was a little dumbfounded actually. You never know how much your actions can affect other people. That’s why it is important to set a good example.
Sometimes when I write for this blog, my fear about the future of our society and the planet is somewhat assuaged. I know there are people out there, especially those of you reading this, who genuinely care, like me, about the future and the environment. I urge you to set the example for your friends and family. Maybe they will catch onto it too.