Eight things you can do to help the environment


Kaelyn Savard

Many know about greenhouse gases and the negative effect that they are having on the environment, and it is a common belief that the only way to end their effect is by having world leaders deal with it, but there are many things that normal people can do in order to help the Earth.

Emma Ippolito, Reporter

Right now, our climate is suffering. Animals are getting killed by toxic chemicals in our waterways and by trash that finds its way to our ocean. Air is slowly becoming less and less breathable as it absorbs greenhouse gases and other harmful toxins. Our very own streets are scattered with various pieces of trash while the wind carries various papers and plastics. This is because of us, but we aren’t entirely helpless.

You don’t have to be an environmental scientist in order to help save the environment. Anyone can help keep our Earth clean. However, sometimes it can be hard to decipher what you can do to help. So, here are eight helpful things you can do to help.


Reduce, reuse and recycle

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle is what many of us learned in Elementary school. Reducing, reusing and recycling can help the environment from various harmful materials. A major component are tiny microscopic plastics known as microplastics that can be found throughout our oceans and land. 

Reducing means to minimize the amount of trash and waste you have. One way to do this is by buying products where more packaging is avoidable. For example, if there is a large bag of chips, and then a large bag with individual bags, try to buy the one without plastic packaging when possible. 

Reusing can mean using a certain item more than once. This can include taking reusable bags with you to the grocery store, or trying to use a bottle of water more than one time. 

Recycling is utilizing a product for a new use instead of throwing it away. One way to do this is to remember to throw magazines, newspapers, cardboard, plastic bags and more in the recycling bin. Once the materials are recycled they will be taken to a facility where they can make it into the same product as before as seen in recycled bottles and bags.


Volunteer to clean-up

Getting involved in your community with trash pickups, planting trees and plants, helping out wildlife and more! There are many easy ways for you to volunteer and help the environment.

You don’t even need to be a part of a group to help out, you and some friends could easily go to the beach or a forest and pick up trash for a few hours. Even when you’re walking home from school or somewhere and you see a piece of trash, pick it up!


Shop wisely

Using reusable bags while shopping can reduce plastic waste and help save the environment. (Kami Kada)

Shopping wisely can have a large impact on our environment. Simple things such as bringing a reusable bag to the grocery store, or buying things with as little plastic as possible can go a long way.

Plastic bags actually cause many problems to our environment including global warming, pollution and other environmental damage. This affects plants, animals and even people. That is why using reusable bags is vital.

Reusable bags can also help cut down on the carbon dioxide emissions which are made by plastic bag productions. A little act like bringing your own bag can help to slow down climate change and aid our lovely outdoors.

Conserve water

Conserving water allows for less runoff into our waterways and oceans. If we try to conserve our water, we not only help our economic growth but we can prevent chemicals and other trash from getting into our own drinking water and the habitats of plants and animals.

One million marine animals are killed by plastic debris in our oceans each year. It is estimated that there are 100 million tons of plastic in our oceans all around the world. 

Of course, a lot has to be done to help this overwhelming issue, but by conserving water, you can also prevent trash from getting washed into the oceans via our runoff water.


Reconsider Your Commute

Emissions from cars contribute to global warming immensely. Cars, trucks and other systems of transportation emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that cause global warming. Greenhouse gases cause global warming because they trap heat in the atmosphere causing it to warm. 

Global warming from cars cannot be fully avoided, however, there are ways to avoid driving whenever possible. One way is by biking more. If you need to get somewhere close, why drive? Bike instead. This is healthy for you, and it’s healthy for the environment. Win win, right?

Another thing you can do is walk, or even run. It might feel a little exhaustive, but it’s an easy way to get steps in and do your part for the environment!


Plant a tree

Trees provide food, oxygen and can help clean the environment. Trees remove carbon dioxide from the air, and they release oxygen into the atmosphere. Planting a tree can also improve water conservation, air quality, regulate extreme temperatures and can increase wildlife habitat. 

Trees can also prevent soil erosion and are just beautiful! It’s also not very hard to plant a tree. Volunteer in your community to plant trees, or even plant a tree in your backyard!


Be Mindful of Trash

Not littering is a major, easy way for people to help the climate and our environment. Picking up after yourself and others when necessary can really make a difference. So many people litter, so it’s up to you to at least make a little change.

Making sure to throw away all your trash is important. Also make sure it’s secure and not falling out. Living in Ventura, California, we know birds and other animals can get into trash cans and allow for more trash to get into our streets and environment.  It’s important to not just throw our trash in aimlessly but to make sure there is no way the trash can be blown away or taken out. 

It’s also helpful to walk around your neighborhood or the beach, and do a trash pick-up. If you see a piece of trash, pick it up and throw it away yourself regardless of whom left the mess.


Use long lasting light bulbs

Using long lasting light bulbs can prevent a lot of our greenhouse emissions. If we reduce our greenhouse emissions, then it can help with global warming. 

Greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, get trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere and cause the planet to warm. Using long lasting light bulbs can help. This can include light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs and other environmentally friendly light bulbs. 


Now that you know how you can help, inform other people! The more people trying to help our environment the better it will be.


What do you think?