Nowadays, a very recurring issue is the fact that we need to change our actions towards planet Earth urgently. Our planet is collapsing and we are currently living in times of  several environmental crises all around the world, as the recently rainforest fires in Brazil.

In July 29, the 2019 Earth Overshoot Day happened, meaning that humans have already used all the planet’s ecological resource budget for the entire year. And the reason this date is so remarkable is because each year we are reaching the Overshoot Day earlier. The world is using up resources so fast and in an uncontrolled way that the planet’s ecosystems cannot regenerate them in time. 

The most shocking part of all this is that many people still do not understand the reality in which we are experiencing. Several researches about each country’s consumption habits point out that if everyone on the planet consumed as much as the average United States citizen, it would be needed approximately four Earths to sustain everyone. And still, it does not look like people are worried about it. 

As an exchange student from Brazil, it is very clear for me to see all the differences in people’s daily habits towards the planet and the obvious reason why the US would need more than one Earth. 

People in Brazil are more used to go to places using public transport or riding a bike and I think this is an essential key to an ecological improvement. There are 276 million vehicles operating on roads and the US has a total of 327.2 million inhabitants, which means that In the US there is practically one car for every adult. 

Besides that, the US produces 11 million tons of textile waste per year and over 90% of cotton is genetically modified using large quantities of water and chemicals. The solution to this problem is easy, but people insist on ignoring it. Buying in thrift stores should be encouraged since it is made in a more ecological and humane way and you are not supporting the unbridled production of the fashion industry. There is no creation of new clothes and the prices are more affordable. It should also be also considerate that less than 1% of all material is recycled. 

Also, although I am not a vegetarian, I understand that reducing the consumption of meat and animal products is necessary. One third of water is used in the meat and dairy industry,  51% of greenhouse gases come from livestock and their by-products and 45% of the planet’s soil is used for livestock.

The United Nation organization revealed through research  that we have only 12 years to reverse climate change problems before they become irreversible. People need to understand that we have no time anymore to be wasting our resources on unnecessary things and our habits need to change. The future of the next generations are in our hands and there are so many simple things in our daily attitudes that can help the world. We do not need to use straws, plastic bags, eat all this amount of meat everyday, ride by car instead of public transportation, etc. 

The time to change our habits is now and we need to vote on people that have ecological plans to represent us and make the world a better place.