Captain Planet can’t save us

We need to take responsibility for our messes

Graphic by: Hannah Way | Interim Production Assistant

When I talk about water conservation and vulnerable demographics targeted by corporations with some people, they laugh and condescendingly call me a hippie. I’ll smile and laugh it off uncomfortably but my passion for environmental science and the people it affects isn’t a laughing matter.

Like, dang Janet, I didn’t know caring about the health of our planet was a bad thing.

Just call me Leonardo DiCaprio because I want to focus on the environment for a moment. Pause that slam dunk before you put that piece of litter in the trash instead of recycling it.

Caring about the Earth isn’t a partisan issue, it’s an obligation. We all live on this green planet orbiting in the void vacuum of space. I’d like to know that greener initiatives will be given their due diligence in my lifetime. Don’t just care about the Earth because of your hypothetical future children—care about the Earth because you live on it too. We don’t want to sink our ship before we’re ready to get off, right?

As Millennials and Gen-Z kids, we grew up with shows like “The Magic School Bus” and “Sesame Street” teaching us how to recycle and reuse plastic. With nostalgia sitting deep in my chest and Clinton era slogans turning in my brain as I type this, I come to you to say that Captain Planet won’t save the Earth for us, so we need to get a move on.

There’s a lot you can do to make green living more accessible, even when you live in a concrete jungle. Earth Day is April 22, so let’s set a goal to do more on every level this month. I knew I had to do more for the environment the moment President Trump erased climate change from the White House home page and mocked scientific experts on Twitter. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean that climate change doesn’t exist—insert cringe face here.

In 1980, John Trudell, a Santee Dakota Native American activist, said in his famous Thanksgiving Day address, “The Earth is our mother, we must take care of the Earth.”

College students can aid in the fight against pollution and trash piles swimming in the ocean. As citizens of Earth, we hold a lot of power. There’s a litany of things you can do: buy a reusable water bottle, reuse plastic bags, walk instead of drive, donate compost and so on. You can also become a conscious consumer and look at the environmental impact of businesses you buy from, sign a petition, write to your congressman and vote for officials who have the Earth in mind when they make decisions.

Just because the Earth can’t speak doesn’t mean we aren’t listening. Don’t let Earth Day pass you by without examining environmental policy and how you contribute. Make a difference in any way you can and protect Mother Earth.

Click here for more from the Torch’s Opinions section.