Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Why We Need to Stop Saying We Need to Save the Planet

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Oneonta chapter.


It’s not compelling, nor is it what we really mean to say

We’re not really concerned with saving the planet, nor are activists. It’s the life on the planet we burden ourselves with preserving, not a lifeless mass. Because the earth itself has no emotional expression, it’s hard to feel sympathetic and inspired in the phrase alone. The exact same reason the phrases: “save the ocean, the forests, the so on and so forth” don’t work. At the end of the day we care about clean oceans because we care about a flourishing aquatic ecosystem. We care about the sea turtles, otters,  dolphins and the killer whales. We care about the beauty of a coral reef and clean sandy beaches (sadly for our personal enjoyment, rather than some moral understanding). Nonetheless, we’re not saying what we mean. Really, we don’t care about saving the trees. We care about the organisms that depend on the oxygen, and shelter of these trees (sadly once again, including ourselves).

It’s an indestructible natural force, independent of human abuse

As of lately, a lot of people believe, that the planet is simply going through climatic phases. The earth has experienced a number of ice ages and greenhouse periods throughout its history. However, given scientific research and informed analysis we can clearly see that a greater effect has been had since the Industrial Revolution. Given our nearsighted concerns to make a dime, we are never going to make any advancements unless we start presenting the issue as one of economic concern as opposed to environmental. Too often is nature’s amazing resilient properties pushed to the edge after a tragedy. Why? Because this gives us peace. How often does one read a societal critique that offers no solution or resolution? It’s not satisfying to be presented with issues. Ironically, it seems when presented with a pessimistic reality, people more often than not  are so disheartened that they become unmotivated by a task that seems too daunting to really take on. Likewise, an uplifting conclusion implies absolutely no real urgency to find a solution and thus the gravity of the matter is largely discarded.

It’s too large of a concept and it feels like an impossible feat

To say we need to save the world we encompass a lot of very weighty “smaller” issues that make up the whole. It’s not unreasonable to feel like your contribution to these efforts is meaningless.   When several billion people are living with this same mindset, the magnitude of a unified entity of nothing more than several individuals becomes quite clear. Perhaps this environmentalist propaganda needs to be better geared to the individual. Each year, the average American disposes of enough non biodegradable plastic straws to x y and z. Propaganda like this should be placed directly outside of businesses and maybe even on restaurant menus, manufactured products, etc. . We need to personalise the issue while maximising the effect of minimal effort.

Finally,  Actions speak louder than words

It’s not enough to say we need to save the planet. Time is of the essence. We are running out of time to save the next generation from the effects of those before us. While it’s pretty obvious that we have inherited a mess, we  have no part in the solution if we sit  idly by. We have done something remarkable. We have acknowledged the issues, we have developed solutions, but it’s not enough to rely on those actively passionate about the environment. This is the one world we all share, there is no plan B. It’s time to call on the masses, actively spread the word, personalise the issues, to make solutions tangible, and to multiply the results. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”


So from one driven woman to another: always the best.


“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

-Mahatma Gandhi




*The views in this article do not reflect Her Campus and Her Campus Oneonta and are entirely the author’s opinion.*

Hey ladies! My name is Chrystal - I'm an English & General Human Ecology dual major at SUNY Oneonta! I love being involved in our community, both on campus and otherwise! I love writing - about any and everything; hanging out with friends; hitting around a volleyball; traveling (especially, the northeastern coast); and, more or less, playing interior designer on anyone that will let me! I look forward to writing articles that reach out to individuals of a variety of backgrounds, who are struggling with the same kind of issues in a diverse number of ways, while providing my perspective on the things that matter most to me. I'm excited to start my journey here as part of a sisterhood that empowers women in both their strength, as well as in their vulnerability.
Hey everyone! My name is Callan Fridgen, and I'm a junior at Oneonta State studying Communications with a minor in Public Relations. Find me on Instagram @callanfridgen