My Take on Earth Day 2019

A picture-perfect Earth doesn’t exist anymore.  

Leaving the water running while brushing your teeth, leaving a phone charger plugged into the outlet all day, taking an Uber to the mall, buying a drink from Starbucks, and using plastic bags to carry all your grocery items.  GIF source.

Not many people realize those actions are harmful to the environment and should be avoided in order to give the Earth a break. Every action and every decision made by us can lead to a huge change. Good or bad, we make a difference in this world. This past Earth Day I noticed everyone appreciating the earth…but in the most inefficient way.

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My Instagram was flooded with pictures of beautiful sunsets, beaches, and flowers. Even though I enjoyed looking at these pictures, they didn’t show the importance of Earth Day or capture where the environment of our Earth is headed because of our actions. GIF source.

What I didn’t see on these posts were photos of turtles being harmed from our plastic straws. Pictures of beaches being polluted because of the trash we have built up. Pictures of toxic fumes put into the air because of our cars.

Out of the 200 plus people I follow on Instagram, only two people broke the pattern. One person gave the advice to use a metal straw in order to save the turtles and another posted picture of the horrible effect our trash has on ocean animals.

It’s time for a reality check!

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The Washington Post estimates that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. Another horrifying image is the world being covered in trash by 2157.

If we don't make a change, our home, Earth, isn't going to be looking too pretty in a few years. You might not notice it every day, but the earth is being affected by our decisions. Just think about how much plastic we use every day.

I noticed how many bad habits I had a few weeks ago. Some examples are buying large cases of plastic water bottles instead of just using a refillable bottle. I took an Uber instead of using public transportation. I used plastic bags at the supermarket instead of bringing my own or asking for a paper bag.

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The list of my bad habits could even be longer, because I didn’t even realize how my actions impacted the environment.  Until you start paying attention to the Earth being damaged, you don’t see your actions as harmful.

Instead of posting pictures of the environment through one picture-perfect lens, we should see the Earth for what it really is - a place that is being destroyed because of our actions.

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Spend Earth Day and any other day volunteering. An easy way to access volunteer opportunities is by visiting JerseyCares.org. Specifically, at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, there are always volunteer opportunities; some include planting a tree or helping with nature path or shoreline cleanup.  

Earth Day isn't the only opportunity to make a difference; we can do that every day. It isn't too late for us to help the environment, but if we wait, it just might be.