Seven Things You Can Do to Help Save The Earth

Aaron Boorstein

If everyone in the world were to produce as much garbage as Americans, five Earths would be needed to sustain humanity. A study by the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) has revealed that additional planets will be needed by 2050 as our existing resources are exhausted. Now more than ever, humans must make an effort to save the Earth.

When asked if one person really can make an impact on the environment, Tim Berto, a Science Teacher at Middleton High School and an adviser of the MHS Ecology Club and Science Alliance, explained, “I really believe that if you start small, you can help to slowly change peoples’ minds about things. You can make small impacts on people. Then if those people go off and do those things, other people will see that, and you can really create these ripple effects.”

Here are a few small yet impactful ways you can positively benefit the environment and create a ripple effect among your peers.



The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 75% of waste in the US is recyclable, but only 30% of it is recycled. Always recycle metal materials, paper/cardboard, glass, plastics, electronics, and batteries and bulbs. Do not recycle items contaminated by food, such as the bottom half of pizza boxes. Also, avoid recycling products coated in plastic, shiny, or glossy layers.


Bike/Walk to School and Work

Not only does biking and walking improve your health, but also the environment’s health. Walking or biking to school can save over 600 pounds of carbon emissions per school year, which is the equivalent of planting one tree. A school of students who walk or bike to school almost every day would provide the same benefits for the air that a forest offers.


Turn off the Lights

Think about how many times you have accidentally left the light on in your room, only to hear your parents say, “Please turn off the lights!” Turning off the lights when you leave a room can save you and your family thousands of dollars each year, and can significantly reduce your annual carbon footprint.


Reduce Meat Consumption

Meat production causes a severe drain to water resources, land, and poses a significant threat to the health of the environment. According to The Washington Post, 14.5% of the world’s greenhouse gases are caused by the production of meat, about the same as every automobile on the planet put together. The Los Angeles Times reports that the production of a hamburger requires 660 gallons of water. Reducing meat consumption is much easier than one may think; having one vegetarian day each week reduces greenhouse gases and decreases the use of our shrinking potable water supply.


Conserve Water

With more and more areas throughout the world struggling with droughts, water conservation has become more critical than ever. You can significantly reduce your carbon footprint by installing low flow showerheads, taking showers instead of baths, turning the sink off while brushing your teeth, and being cautious of the amount of water you use for lawn care.


Avoid Food Waste

According to the US Department of Agriculture, in the United States, over 30% of food is left uneaten or unused each year, which equals approximately $165 Billion of food. However, you can minimize the amount of food you waste by using a smaller plate, eating leftovers, and only purchasing what you need. Eating meals with a smaller plate reduces portion size; thus it reduces food waste. Eating leftovers ensure that food remaining from previous meals will not be thrown out. Also, purchasing only what you need guarantees that you do not have any extra food at home to waste.


Join a Middleton High School Environment-Related Club

Mr. Berto highly encourages joining organizations that create positive impacts on the environment. He explains that you can “amplify your own voice through the power of organizations.” Students at MHS can join the Ecology, Gardening, and Science Alliance clubs. Through these clubs, you can inform yourself and others on how you can help save the Earth.


Every individual can make a substantial impact on the environment. I encourage you to make an effort to participate in these seven items as much as possible, as this will markedly benefit the Earth.