How Do We Better Protect the Environment?

Witten by: Marcus Tan (Y13)

Times are changing- Never before has humanity been so close together, and yet at times, so divided. A rise in nationalism and an “us versus them” mentality has taken a choke hold on human society (leaving many of our leaders transfixed on the idea of being richer than the rest), plans to save the earth have been brushed aside. Our leaders have pondered, and promises have been made, but little has actually happened to work towards saving the planet.

Millions upon millions of metric tons of plastic have been dumped into our oceans, killing wildlife and severely impacting the livelihood of coastal cities. Climate change continues to melt the polar ice caps, making sea levels rise enough to threaten populations and driving many beautiful artic animals to extinction. The Great Barrier Reef- one of the seven natural wonders of the world- is in critical condition, with corals dying at an unprecedented rate.

What can we do? Individually, not much. However, change will be wrought when every single individual in a society plays their own, little part towards the betterment of the planet. The most important thing to do is to recognize the fact that our planet, and all of its marvelous creations, are in danger. You know this, and you might agree. But the moment you put this article down, everything I have written about may be shelved away, forgotten, and we will carry on with our lives, believing that somebody else will save the planet for you. One could call this delusional thinking, because that “somebody else” probably has somebody else in mind as well.

We must stop using luxuries we can live without- plastic straws, disposable bottles, cutlery, microbeads, and bags are brilliant executioners of both marine life and the tourism industry.

In YCIS, we have an Environmental Awareness Committee that aims to spread understanding and educate students on such issues. Over the past year, we’ve raised money for tree planting, put up posters around the school to educate and persuade, spoke at assemblies, and made plans for future events we can host, such as documentary screenings to further spread awareness. We’ve gotten students to genuinely care about our earth, and that is no small achievement for they are the future of this world.

I feel that, for now, we as students are attempting to do our part. It is now time for the grown-ups to do the same.

Don’t forget, the greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it