The global environment today faces many different threats, such as water, air, and soil pollution, that create a myriad of health problems across the world. There are vortexes of plastic trash the size of small continents covering patches of the world’s oceans. The largest structure made by humans is a landfill. Forest cover has been reduced to critical levels. Day by day, the world becomes more unlivable. This is the time for everyone who cares to take action.

Austin Alexander Burridge’s 5 Tips to help the Environment:

1. Join the Cleanup Effort!

You can get started by diving right in and cleaning things up directly in your neighborhood. Use Google to research your local volunteer organizations and join your community’s efforts at cleaning up its highways, beaches, and anywhere else trash gets dumped.

2. Start a Community Recycling Program

If your community is lacking in the recycling department, why not start a program? Attend some city council meetings and bring the matter up to relevant officials. With the right mindset and enthusiasm, you can spark a volunteer movement and spearhead a green initiative.

3. Contact Your Elected Representatives

The government derives its power from the citizens who vote. Reach out to your friends and neighbors, have them sign a petition, and submit it to the government. Then, call on your elected officials, such as congressional representatives, the mayor, and the governor. Inform them that you and your community are passionate about the environment and want to take measures to protect it.

4. Green Your Workplace

Talk to your managers about the benefits of instituting a recycling program at work. If your job is located in a small complex or strip mall, business owners may even reap benefits by committing to a green program together. You also can talk to your managers about making small changes around the office (for example, going paperless), which could save money in the long-term.

5. Protect the Environment at Home

Saving the environment starts at home. Even if your community doesn’t have a recycling program, you should still remove any paper, plastic, glass, and cardboard items from your trash and take them to a recycling center yourself. Install water-saving faucet attachments on every faucet in your home. Use soap and other household cleaning products that are made from all-natural products, so that dangerous chemicals do not get into the water. These small changes at home can provide an enormous, positive impact over time on the overall environment.

Remember, you can make a difference for the planet if you are willing to put in a little effort. Even if you only take modest steps at first, the actions of everyone together will amount to something great.

About: Austin Burridge is a student at Winona State University in Minnesota and is currently pursuing a Major in Environmental Science, with an emphasis in Biology, and a Minor in Sociology. He has a deep interest in understanding the relation of sustainable ecological systems to the environment and is an impassioned advocate for the conservation of natural resources.