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Climate Change is REAL & We Need to Start Acting Like It

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Climate change is an extremely important topic to keep at the forefront of conversation right now. We are headed toward a dangerously unsafe time in history if our environmental habits do not shift quickly. Climate change can be defined as a long-term change in the average weather patterns that have come to define Earth’s local, regional and global climates. This means that over the years, our outdoor climate has experienced shifts in its patterns, causing slow yet drastic changes to the weather.

Research shows that climate change is driven by human activity. According to NASA, specific activities such as fossil fuel burning increase heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere raising Earth’s average temperature. This can be dangerous for human survival if levels become too high. Key indicators that are immediate signs of climate change include land and ocean temperature increases, ice loss, hurricanes, heat waves, wildfires, droughts, floods, vegetation, and so many other phenomena. Although these events don’t seem frightening to those who live in areas foreign to them, it all starts on a small scale. This past summer in my tiny little hometown on the Northshore of Massachusetts, there were forest fires going on for weeks with little control over them. My house constantly smelled of smoke and I was miles away from where it was happening. Experiences like this put a lot of natural events into perspective and have shown me how dangerous of a position we are in if we do not start changing our actions. 

As members of society and the only living beings able to take care of our planet, it begins with us. We can continue to campaign for bold climate action from our government, but why not start changing the ways we go about our everyday lives? Sometimes the smallest of steps can make the largest impacts. Using energy wisely is a way we can combat climate change. Some small changes we can make in regard to saving energy include using an electric stove instead of a gas stove, unplugging all devices such as computers, phones, and watches when we are not using them, washing clothes using cold water and hang drying them, and changing to energy-efficient light bulbs. These are small steps we can take to ensure our future planet is healthy and happy. 

One of the most important things we can do is start the conversation. I am not an expert, but there also may be some people who have a limited understanding of how much our actions impact our everyday climate. In order for all of the small action steps to matter, we have to be in it together. It is impossible to have everyone on the same page, doing the same things, and believing in the same values but it is entirely possible to spread awareness of the cause to friends, family, and acquaintances. 

Recycling is also important to how we can combat climate change. Every piece of plastic that gets recycled properly is less of a chance that we kill a sea animal, further damaging our oceans. It prevents pollution, saves energy, saves our forests, and reduces the need to harvest more materials.

It starts and ends with us. We have one home to take care of, a home that is far from perfect but provides us with what we need to survive and thrive as human beings. We pose a threat to this the more we are careless of our actions. It’s time to come together and save our planet. 

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Haley LaKind

U Mass Amherst '23

Haley LaKind is a junior Communication and Journalism double major on the Public Relations Track. She enjoys writing biweekly articles for Her Campus as well as running the chapter instagram page @hcumassamherst. Her hobbies include exercise, travel, journaling, and spending time with friends and family. At UMass she is also involved with UMass CHAARG and the Public Relations Club.