Opinions, Special Projects

The future of the Earth is in our hands

Climate change has been an ongoing issue impacting Earth for decades due to shrinking glaciers, polluted beaches, and rising temperatures. While many of these events were caused by humans, we can also start taking the right steps to achieve sustainability to help the environment.

In November 2016, California voters approved the statewide single-use carryout bag ban where retail businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and liquor stores would no longer provide plastic bags to their customers. However, they continued selling reusable plastic or paper bags for 10 cents, according to Cal Recycle.

The statewide plastic bag ban was initiated for customers to start bringing their own reusable shopping bags and help reduce the “harmful impacts to oceans, rivers, lakes and the wildfire” as well as waste management, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.

When the California plastic bag ban was first approved, I worked at a grocery store and either had customers who didn’t mind bringing their own bags because it was “better for the environment” or others who hated paying for bags because they’d forget to bring reusable ones.

Personally, I like bringing my Trader Joe’s reusable bags to their store because not only do they have a variety of cool designs to choose from, but it also feels great knowing I am contributing toward sustainable shopping.

California droughts are caused by extreme warm and dry weather for the past two decades and make it difficult to “manage the environment,” according to the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

Additionally, over 240 Californian freshwater species have either become endangered or extinct due to rising temperatures causing drought stress.

In order to help reduce water waste, the Save Our Water campaign recommends Californians practice water-saving efficiency tips such as installing low-flow showerheads and keeping out rain barrels to collect water for gardens during the dry season.

Gardening has never been my thing, but it definitely is my mother’s.

During the March 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, my mom started spending more time in her garden because it helped keep her busy during these overwhelming times.

She loved watering her plants but resourcefully would do so by having about a dozen buckets in our backyard for the rain to collect. Not only was she keeping her plants healthy, but she was also helping reduce our water bill in a resourceful manner.

So, instead of pointing fingers at who’s responsible for climate change, let’s take the initiative in coming together to help Mother Nature heal even with something as simple as gardening.

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