Waste Not

This world we inhabit is a wonderful gift from God. He gives us the responsibility to take care of it and preserve its beauty. The earth is created special as the only planet in the entire universe able to support life. It is the only planet that provides oxygen and water. The only planet where life thrives and flourishes, and I call it home.

Aside from its ability to provide us with the basic needs of life, earth supplies a great and many varieties of natural resources. From precious gems to lush forests colorfully dotted by tropical fruits, the human race has an abundant supply of resources, more than enough. Yet, nowadays, humans have become so greedy, selfish, and wasteful. We extract unbelievable amounts of the earth’s resources for merely short-term enjoyment, unmindful of our—and the earth’s—fate if we continue on our current path.

These resources are bountiful, of course, but are given to us in a limited amount. They may perish someday, if we continue to spend them wastefully. In that regard, I have listed some ways we still practice inefficiency in our daily life, for those who have not seen the danger in our routines.

We come to school every day in cars, motorcycles, and other private vehicles. Each car consumes about 5 – 8 liters of petroleum per day. That’s just one car, and only for one day. Imagine if the whole city goes traveling to their destination using cars and motorcycles. There would probably be more than five million people scrambling in cars to get to their destination on time. That would not only be a chaos, but also a waste of petroleum and  energy. Unfortunately, the tracks of our wasteful use of energy remain. Air pollution is still a problem in most large cities.

In the classroom
When you get to school, your English teacher prepares and prints out a 3-page test for you and your classmates. There are about 30 of you in the class, so she needs to print out 90 sheets of paper so all of you can take the test. Is it just me, or is that really a quite enormous amount of paper we don’t realize we’re using in a single day—or rather, for a single task?

Water wise
At home, you take a bath twice a day, consuming 40 – 60 liters of water. You flush the toilet more than thrice a day (of course, or else some unpleasant odor will come from your bathroom), probably using up 20 liters, not to mention washing the dishes, your clothes, and watering the lawn.

Global awareness
That’s quite some “resource” you use up in a day. Pay attention to all the events happening around the globe: regions get flooded; forest fires happen frequently; acid rain falls in big cities; oil spills pollute the ocean and paints black its sky blue color with its toxin. Mother Nature is screaming to get humans to stop this ‘abuse’.

We are extracting and ‘squeezing’ unimaginable amounts of the earth’s natural resources day by day. Worse than that, we waste the resources we have consumed. We do not consume it efficiently or sometimes throwing what is left because it is no longer something worth using.

Possible solutions
We have often heard about the idea of recycling and managing our wastes. Recycling, by definition, is converting waste into reusable material. This has the ability to make a difference in the amount of waste that we produce each day, probably removing “paper”, “plastic bottles”, or other materials from the trash list.

Recycling can be in the form of reusing the material for the same purpose or transforming it into something else that could be more of use. Both ways are equally beneficial and are strongly suggested by organizations worldwide. Some examples of recycling include using plastic bottles or glass jars as plant pots or turning egg cartons into storage for knick-knacks and decorations.

All the above are the reasons I feel so strongly about waste and it is what compels me to take necessary action and stand up for this earth’s benefit. It saddens my heart to see such valuable resources wasted just because we are too lethargic to think about the effects of throwing it away.

I am fully aware that my generation, as youths, are the writers of the earth’s future. We determine whether this earth will suffer from the unbelievably gargantuan amount of waste we produce or prosper and succeed in preserving our resources and managing our wastes.

For this reason, I believe I qualify for this priceless opportunity to attend an action for Earth Summit and acquire the knowledge needed to help make a difference in this world. Hopefully, I will be able to learn through it how to contribute better to saving OUR earth, this very planet that the human race has called home for thousands of years.

—by Christabella N. Surono

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