Small Things That Could Lead to a Healthier Environment


Karis Moore, Staff Writer

What makes us human? What sets us apart as being not “just another species of primate?” What distinguishes us apart from every other species on this planet to make us so uniquely ourselves? What allows us to believe that as a society we are superior to all beings on this earth, that this earth is ours for the taking to habitat, to build on, and to ultimately destroy? The human brain. It is so unique and complex, and it allows us to experience emotions much beyond that of any other living thing that habitats this planet. Yet, we live on this planet WITH so many other unique and beautiful creatures and vegetation, living harmoniously allowing us to experience what we know as the circle of life. Without each and every species that exists on this earth with us, we would not be able to survive.

So, what makes us human? What makes us think that because of our developed brains, that we are so superior to every other thing that lives here? Due to our use of our complex brain neurons we have decided as humans that we are different than the typical primate.

But what REALLY makes us human? What allowed us to decide that we are so special compared to the typical animal? Is it our ability to create such deep connections with one another? That each of us is so uniquely different, but also the same? The way that each of us is able to interact differently within ourselves and behave in different ways to the outside world that is known as our society?

As humans so susceptible to be persuaded by society, a lot of the time all we care about is money and power. We harm our environment in almost every way that we go about living our lives, never stopping to wonder how what we are doing is affecting the things around us.

We kill animals because they “taste good”. We waste water, we waste food, we burn fossil fuels, we litter, and the worst part is that we don’t care. Our brains are so developed, but we are using our brains to create a world where we just seem like the parasites.

What makes us such beautiful creatures capable of love and happiness and beauty, yet such horrible creatures who are capable, and frankly are, destroying everything? Something needs to change on how we are living our lives, yet I’m not even sure what and neither do most of the people within our society! Ignorance despite our beautiful developed beings, is that what makes us human?

Scientists have delved into all of these wonderful scientific aspects of our brain that make us human. Ideas beyond many of our understandings, that make us ourselves. But, even with the scientific understanding of the basis of what makes us human, none of us still seem to truly understand.

Nature is slowly being trapped into sections of its own home, as this ever growing infestation of humans is taking over its soul. Earth is crippling under the weight of everything that humans have build upon it, and it’s resources are being depleted by the minute. Our world around us is slowly deteriorating. Beautiful, yet every inch being taken over by human development. Why do we do this? What makes us human enough to think that we can destroy our own home? The only home that we were given? Why were we, as humans, given the lives that we live with the privilege of such complex brains that make up such complicated beings?

Growing up I was very ignorant towards the way that we treat the environment alongside the majority of people. This was until I began taking certain classes in high school such as AP Human Geography, AP Environmental Science, and AP Language & Composition. In each of these classes, especially AP Environmental Science (APES), we discussed many of the issues that occur around our world in the environment, what has lead to those issues, and certain ways we can fix them. Realizing all of the problems that are occurring right now in our everyday lives from those classes as well as my travels outside of the country to places such as Southeast Asia has inspired me to want to create a change in our society in order to make a change in our dying planet.

In order to create a better environment around us, it starts small. There are many problems in our world and with our environment, but if we start small then we can create solutions and compromises that can begin to heal some of the issues that we have created. One thing that is small that could create a big change in creating a healthier environment is recycling at schools. As of now, many schools across America do not recycle. And though many schools do have recycling bins, all of what is recycled is just thrown into the same garbage truck as all of the waste. A small change that could create a huge improvement in what is wasted and just thrown into landfills is requiring public schools to recycle, as well as educating kids on how to properly dispose of waste. This could make a dramatic effect in landfills and the trash being put into our ecosystems. Why just waste materials when they could be reused or recycled? With small changes like this in our public schools across the country, big changes could begin to be made, overall improving our environment as a whole.

What public school recycling should look like

This is how we will change our ignorance. How we will use our developed brains to make a change for the better. Instead of always just destroying, we can begin to reuse, recycle, and even begin to create. This may seem like such a simple, small thing, but really it could begin to change the way our society perceives the world and how we should treat it. Starting small while inspiring others around you is how you can make a cause grow bigger. Beginning to do small acts such as these everywhere in our everyday lives is what’s going to keep our environment thriving. It is what’s going to keep us from depleting our natural resources and going to, honestly, allow the human race to continue to survive. Do something good with the power that you have as a human being. Be a voice, make a change, and do something as simple as beginning to recycle and it could make a drastic change that our world so desperately needs. Use your human abilities that make us so different from every other being on this earth to your advantage, and to use it for good.  This is what makes us human: the ability to grow, adapt, and adjust to make things better. To create a better life and to make our impact on the world. By doing something as simple as recycling in your school, you could begin to leave your positive mark, and see a change begin to happen.