Earth Day: the call to make a difference

It saddens me what little we have done to protect the environment. I am not saying that I am any less guilty because I am.

Many Americans pat themselves on the back because they recycle. But what about the exorbitant amounts of gas they consume every day? Americanfuels.blogspot.com states the number as being around 140 billion.

According to blueearthfarms.org Americans consume one fourth of the world’s resources. Despite that we make up only five percent of the world’s population.

I think it’s fine that people try to do little things to save the earth such as biking to work, using alternative transportation, and not buying so much plastic. These all help in their small way.

The bigger problem lies in our government’s approach to our resources and the environment. And that approach is to close its eyes and bask in its ignorance in which we all do.

According to “The Principles of Environmental Science” textbook 1.4 billion people don’t have their basic needs met every day.

We need to change the way we view ourselves and the world. Where do the clothes you buy come from? Sweatshops somewhere in the crevices of the world. Where does your food come from? Underpaid foreign farmers who work their asses off so that you can enjoy a McDonald’s hamburger.

I think people are overwhelmed so they decide to hear no evil and see no evil. We say, “Oh that sucks but I can’t do anything about it.” We get into this mind set that we are helpless.

We need to be more active when it comes to making our voice heard. We need to let our elected officials know that the environment and its people are important to us.

Yes, changes in the way we live will require sacrifice. But we simply cannot live in luxury the way we do.

According to wfp.org/hunger/stats 5 million children die from hunger each year. I cannot even fathom that number of people. And I cannot fathom how painful it must be to die from hunger. If this makes you sick then good. It should sicken all of us.

The same website says that hunger kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. All of this hunger so that Americans can indulge themselves and become obese. Obesity rates range from 20 to more than 30 percent throughout the states according to www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html.

I don’t want to make any one individual person hate themselves for being a consumer. Even as I write this I am afraid of how my own selfishness will negatively impact the world. I cannot pretend that I am some tireless activist for the environment and the 1.4 billion malnourished. I am not. This is a wake-up call for not only my readers but for me as well.

How do we start healing this planet? Well, it’s going to be a slow and difficult process. Begin by searching ways you can help the environment.

You can serve the hungry at the homeless shelter, plant a tree, and volunteer for AmeriCorps or Peace Corps. You can buy clothing that isn’t made in sweatshops and use alternative methods of transportation.

I am not writing this because I know more about the environment than anyone else. I’m writing because I want to be another voice among the thousands that are shouting “Enough!”

We can never right all the wrong of the world. There will always be people suffering merely because they were born into the wrong circumstances.

Every small act of selflessness is appreciated however. If you strive to help others and the environment then you should be proud of that.

Here’s to becoming better and more globally aware human beings.