In 1970, both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Earth Day were born thanks to Sen. Gaylord Nelson and President Richard Nixon. Now 52 yrs later, many world citizens are wondering if the world has made any progress in protecting our Earth, our home.  Young environmental activists, like Greta Thunberg (Sweden), Milou Albrecht (Australia), Xiye Bastida (USA), and Scout Beslin (USA) are leading the rest of the world to recognize and fight for stronger environmental laws, the enforcement of them, the reality of climate change, and the recognition of climate change consequences. Fifty-two years ago the environmental movement was in its infancy and led by authors, government agencies and political leaders. Now, 52 years later, the movement is led by young, enthusiastic activists throughout the world. Many young people think the adults in their lives don‘t care about the future; that they have endangered their children and grandchildren by ignoring the consequences of climate change or flat out don‘t believe it is happening.

It is important for the adults in power today to listen to these young climate activists and act on their concerns. Their ideas for moving forward regarding the climate crisis must be heeded, not ignored.

What can we do in our daily lives to help the planet? Can you go to Zero-Waste? Here are some ideas.

  1. Bring cloth bags to take out your food from the dining venues. Eliminate plastic bags.
  2. Buy what you need not what you want.
  3. Donate clothes you no longer wear rather than putting them in the trash.
  4. Eat moderate portions. Less food, less waste.
  5. Stop buying one-use plastic bottles. Buy a faucet water filter, save hundreds of dollars a year, and keep more plastic waste out of the landfills and oceans.

We may not reach zero-waste but small steps like these will reduce our effect on climate change.

Dr. Grose has a doctorate in Environmental Toxicology, worked at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and as a professor of Environmental Studies at Neumann University, Aston, PA.