I am writing this letter to help spread the word of our planet’s environmental crisis as widely as possible. I believe this is the best way to start making a difference because the power to change the world lies with the actions of each person every day.

Recently I was walking with my family on Broad Street, hoping to enjoy the beautiful evening, but I couldn’t get the sound of idling cars out of my head. So many people were sitting parked in their cars, windows shut, with the air conditioning blasting. It is a disturbing truth that the typical car emits over 5 metric tons of carbon dioxide in a single year. Perhaps most chillingly, few people truly understand that by 2035, by the time I am 30, levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will have risen to the point where reversal is almost impossible.

It definitely feels overwhelming. But we are bound by our duty to Mother Earth. Here are some simple daily adjustments you can make to help:

Recycle correctly — that includes cans, plastic jugs, newspapers, cardboard, paper board, and magazines.

Limit the amount of plastic products you use — take cloth bags when you go shopping instead of using plastic bags, and drink from a single reusable bottle instead of purchasing dozens of disposable ones every week.

Reduce your meat intake whenever possible — animal agriculture contributes nearly 15% of the world’s greenhouse gases.

Turn off your ignition if idling for over 10 seconds (unless in traffic). According to the Environmental Defense Fund, an idling car uses just as much gasoline as a moving car.

Aim for shorter showers and turn the faucet off while brushing your teeth.

When not using a room, remember to turn off the light.

Let fresh air fill your house instead of habitually blasting the air conditioner.

Saving the environment starts with little steps. It’s the small lifestyle changes that will impact the future of our planet.

Thank you for your efforts,

Leah and Emily Bartleson


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