Planet Under Pressure
By: Saaniyah S., Teen Blogger
Our planet is undergoing a lot of pressure from its inhabitants. The energy industry is a culprit of releasing tons of toxic gases into the atmosphere. Branches of the energy industry include biofuels and oil. Biofuels seem like a clean alternative to dirtier industries like coal, but biomass creates harmful carbon dioxide and sulfur emissions when it is burned. Oil processing has its own numerous downfalls, as well. Spills can happen when transporting oil from drilling to areas where consumers need it. Pollution is common in urban areas, where oil seeps from car engines into nearby bodies of water.
Automobiles have a lot to owe to the environment. They take in gasoline, a petroleum derived liquid, and vapors give off carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, both of which contribute to air pollution. Cars and trucks also emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which make up one-fifth of the United States’ total global warming pollution. Greenhouse gases are not necessarily bad for the earth, since without them, our planet would be covered in ice. But the excessive amounts that are being released into the air cause our planet to heat, resulting in rising sea levels, melting glaciers, and more natural disasters.
Sure, we have a lot to owe to the energy industry for fulfilling many basic needs every day. But how can we curb our individual impact without compromising these needs? It doesn’t take much to achieve good-citizen-of-the-environment status. If your Chevy has been running the bends for over a decade, it could be a significant source of pollution for the atmosphere. If possible, opt to switch out those wheels for a more energy efficient and eco-friendly hybrid or electric car. Make sure you check the fuel efficiency levels, which say a lot about what it is putting back into the air. Higher levels mean better fuel efficiency and lower pollution. Take care of your vehicle by getting regular checkups, which will lower your carbon footprint. And lastly, hit the road by foot whenever you can. Your body and your earth will thank you for that fresh air!