The world is falling apart — literally. Ocean levels are rising, the air quality is declining by the minute and our planet is about to collapse. The cause of this disaster is rooted in human action. Climate change has been sneaking up on the human population for years, yet many of us still have little awareness of this fact. In the past 10 years or so, though, the younger generations — people like us — have been realizing the danger that climate change poses. In order to spread awareness, there is one vital thing we all must do: make changes in our own lives. Without changing your own habits, climate change cannot be fought. Practice what you preach. That classic cheesy phrase holds true in this scenario. For example, if you went an entire year without eating meat, you would be saving 162,486 gallons of water overall! Individual actions have enormous impacts when it comes to saving the Earth.

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Some may say the number one thing we need to in order to promote climate change awareness is take legal action, and this is true as well. Yet taking legal action means nothing if you yourself do not practice sustainability or try to have a greener lifestyle. Additionally, there are so many voices that attempt to overpower these striving legal actions when it comes to the Earth, one voice being our infamous president. Political action is necessary, yes, but the positive outcomes are not immediate, unlike changing your own lifestyle.

I strongly believe that it is imperative for each individual to make more earth friendly choices because by making your own difference, you can inspire others to do the same. For example, my roommate, who is vegan, saves x amount of animals per day. Being vegan is one of the best things someone can do in order to help the planet, since animal agriculture is the second-greatest contributor to climate change. By changing her diet, she has influenced her family to become vegetarian. Our other roommate and I are also now vegetarian because of her. By this small individual action, she made an impact on others without even trying. While it may not be apparent, changing your lifestyle will change others too, especially when it comes to actions that affect the environment.

It is imperative for each individual to make more earth friendly choices because by making your own difference, you can inspire others to do the same.

People who practice sustainability as individuals need to promote their actions and tell others about it. This is how information spreads and climate change is acknowledged. Using social media is a big tool; a single profile can have an effect on millions of people. I have been following an Instagram profile by the name @trashisfortossers for over a year. The owner of the profile, Lauren Singer, helped me realize the declining state of our Earth. By simply documenting her life with pictures and captions, she changed how I act in mine. She has almost 300,000 followers and inspires them daily. @trashisfortossers lives a life of zero waste, meaning that she does not create trash; she only uses recyclable and reusable items.

Climate change is such a serious and detrimental problem, and the biggest and easiest solution to this is spreading the word by taking action in your own lives. Pick up trash on the side of the road, buy a reusable straw, eat meat only once a week. All of these tiny lifestyle actions add up, and all of us have made a monumental impact. This is the main way we can fight against climate change and make the world a better place.

Stella Calbert wants you to do your part to stop global warming.