What’s The Deal?
You may see that the environment around us changes every day. In some places, leaves change colors, water freezes, and rain clouds come and go. These are all part of nature.
But there are other changes in the environment that are not natural! We cause them! And these changes are not good! We need to be aware of the types of problems we create for our planet and how we, especially you, can help!
The number one issue that we can control is pollution. Pollution is all around us, it’s in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and ground we walk on. This will take years to breakdown!
Did You Know?
- While Americans make up only 5% of the world’s population, they produce 30% of the world’s waste and use 25% of the world’s resources!
- Humans throw away 26 million plastics which end up in the ocean.
- The Earth is 71 percent water and we need to protect it! Poor water quality creates problems for the people and is bad for sea life.
- 1 in every 8 deaths on Earth links to air pollution.
- Sea animals, like sharks and sea turtles, swallow plastic bags thinking they are jellyfish.
- 14 billion pounds of trash goes into the ocean every year, most of it is plastic.
- Plastic bottles take about 500 years to decompose.
What Can You Do?
Pollution is a big problem! But there are ways you can help! Either by yourself or by joining other people trying to make the world a better place! Here are some ways you can take action:
Do something small:
- The first thing you can do to cut the amount of pollution is to think differently. Before buying something new, ask yourself if you need it or if you could buy it used, like bikes or video games.
- Recycle as much as you can! Waste from plastic plates to clothing is very bad for our environment! Try using reusable and recyclable items, such as cups and shopping bags.
- Turn off electronics when you are not using them and remember to recycleyour unused electronics, like batteries and tablets.
Do something big:
- Hold a cleanup! Talk about it with your family, friends, and at school and together you can help create a more environmentally friendly place to live.
- Needs some help? Coordinate a cleanup with Sign-up!
- Plant trees. Trees add oxygen, break down some pollutants, and decrease dust which will help us breathe better!
- Sometimes it will take a powerful person to make some changes. If so, write a letter to your local representative about your views on keeping water free of chemical and to stop pollution!
Join a cause:
- You can sign a petition! What is a petition? It is a written request, signed by many people, asking the authority to change a particular cause. You can sign one at greenpeace.org.
- Join your school recycling club, or if you don’t have one, then you can create one!
- Become a member of a cause you are passionate about! Do you love dolphins, penguins, or other animals that live on our planet? Then you can volunteer with groups that will help clean our land and water.
- Develop your environmental leadership skills with the National Park Services. They have volunteer openings for ages 8 to 18.
- If you don’t know where to begin, start with your community! There are opportunities to volunteer with the Youth Volunteer Corps.
Remember that you are not alone! Kids just like you all around the world are changing their daily habits to make a positive difference and you can too! Here are some stories to inspire you to create a better tomorrow:
- Here is a teenager who spreads awareness about protecting the environment.
- Pick up trash when walking to and from school. This will make you more mindful when it comes to waste and taking care of the environment.
- A boy recognized the waste of plastic bags and began recycling newspaper to make paper bags.
- Click here to find more InspireMyKids stories about making positive changes to our environment!
Find out more information about the world’s pollution problems! There are many stories around the world about how we pollute our environment and what we can do to change it. Here are a few:
- We all like buying new stuff and Storyofstuff.org talks about changing our ways.
- People like you are fighting for a greener future. The group Greenpeace.org promotes solutions for our oceans, forests, and food.
- Having less air pollution will need help from all of us! Cleantheair.org commits to improving air quality through voluntary actions.
We hope this was useful! If so, please tell your friends and family and together we can make a difference and reduce our pollution problem!