Preserve Our Planet This Earth DayMar 31, 2022 06:36PM ● By Jared Zornitzer
Earth Day, an annual event in April, brings people across the planet together through their common views on policies and practices which impact the environment. In honor of this year’s Earth Day, it is fitting to discuss some of the reasons why I believe that we should care for the environment.
I grew up as a child of the outdoors. The fondest memories from my childhood revolve around spending time outside—time spent at school recess, going on bike rides with my family, and learning to play sports with my dad in the backyard are just a few. Nature was my space to explore, learn and make friends. The possibility of a world without nature or where nature comes second hand to our industrialized existence is hard to fathom but is quickly coming true.
If I could make one wish besides the health, safety and happiness of my children, it would be that they have a yard with trees and wildlife. I would hope for them to be able to go outside and take their first steps, learn to ride a bike, and complete other rites of passage in the outdoors like I did. Nature has been a steadfast companion in my life, and it is my absolute favorite place to be. It would be tragic if future generations do not have access to clean air, natural bodies of water or a healthy environment.
On top of the connection which humans have with nature, its health is vital to our existence on this planet. Through photosynthesis, plants produce the oxygen which we breathe. Our food comes from plants and animals. Simply put, we could not survive without nature. We must curtail deforestation, loss of ecosystems and pollution (microplastics in the ocean enter fish, resulting in humans ingesting toxins when they eat the fish) to maintain our symbiotic relationship with nature.
Additionally, by damaging the environment we are causing the death and extinction of numerous other living organisms. Whether it be cutting down plants to build on land or reducing an ecosystem to such a debilitated state that no animal can live there, humans are complicit in loss of life at a large scale. In short, we can be much better stewards of life and the environment.
Scientific studies demonstrate just how important it is that we implement more environmentally friendly practices. Projections show temperatures and sea levels rising at dangerous rates, and air quality rapidly decreasing. For the sake of our happiness and livelihoods, we must take immediate action and stop hurting the environment. Soon it will be too late to turn back.
Jared Zornitzer is a full-time college student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY studying engineering. An advocate of balancing work and school with exercise and healthy living, he loves hiking, biking, running, cooking, spending time with family and friends, and learning in his classes.