With great power comes great responsibility, we have been taught this our entire lives and it comes with great truth with the looming turmoil that will happen if we cease to care for our earth. The Earth we live in can easily be described as a work of art created by the most creative and thoughtful hands. Isn’t it only natural that we take care of it to preserve this wonder for our future generations to enjoy and to learn from? It saddens me sometimes, in the happiest places too, when I think of the damage we do to our home for the sake of convenience. Human nature, being so clever and creative, has decided to let our love for what is easy take over and unfortunately it is not us, but our children and grandchildren, that will have to face the consequences and fix the world we gifted them. Before we do this though, we must face the relaity and change what is going on inside of humanity so we can fix the problems we commit to our planet.

I do not believe that the issue relies solely on the responsibility of our large corporations but in the hands of even the smallest child. It is OUR choice to go the more responsible route and take care of what we have, like we do with the material things we hold so dearly in our lives. With that said, living a more eco-friendly, and I might even add, caring, life can be strange and new, but is not taking these steps really worth losing our earth? One simple way of changing habits is by using reusable items. The use of plastic in our consumer lives is one of the biggest causes of our growing issues. Purchasing reusable items such as bags, straws, napkins, masks, glass and wooden storage containers, and even some paper products can be used cleverly and is much safer for our earth, heck it can even be cute if you want it that way. Even the way we consume food and its packaging can be changed drastically. Buying bulk and organic products is not only healthier, but it also uses less packaging than what we normally buy. The responsibility is on us to keep the world going round, but do we know where this greed and need to keep consuming comes from.

Consumerism is one of the most harmful practices in society, from the way we think to the way we begin to dismiss earth’s issues. What led to this? To put it plainly, it was our greed to have more, more things, more money, what we had just wasn’t enough. We have gone astray and companies try to produce for these needs, and at all costs. This means that the exploitation of human labor, natural resources, and our minds is at an all time high and we don’t even notice it. We always need something new, the latest technology, or anything that will feed that hunger we have inside? What is this hunger? Or this void we are desperately trying to fill with things? To put it simply it’s you, or the problems inside you that you don’t want to face directly. You have been taught that the only way to fix problems, make others happy, and to fix yourself is to buy. Isn’t this sad? Isn’t it sickening that our market takes advantage of this need and grooms it to our will? Luckily, there is a way out, and that is by taking responsibility and getting the help we need to fix these underlying issues we have inside. We may not even know we have them, but just think about it. What are you trying to cover up these issues with? Do you find yourself buying food whenever you’re down? Do you have an obsession for clothing, shoes, or jewelry? It could be anything and that is the scary part, but if you truly want to change so that the greed doesn’t affect our planet, then you are on the right track to a brighter future for yourself and for the earth.

Our world’s current situation is not a good one, but neither are our issues inside of us, and it’s sad how we take it out on the one place we live in. We are inhabiting a big blue marble that gives us the food we need and the air we breathe and yet we place the giant skyscrapers and the finest watches above it all. The destruction of our planet can be seen as a metaphor for the way we affect the people around us when we are in a bad state. The more we look at it, the more we see that humanity needs to heal before true changes are made. This is a giant step that many are not ready to face or that others do not know about but with the education and the right voices, these words can be spread and we can all be one step closer to healing the land we live in. Reusing items and saving energy is only a small portion of solving the issue we are facing. The world we want is closer to us and all we have to do is find what is truly important and think of the generations of the future and how we want them to have the best life. It is not just about us, it is about everyone living here.

Essay by: Sylvana Fuentes
AAEC High School

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