* With this essay I took part in the International Essay Contest for young people organized by the GOI Peace Foundation (Tokyo, 2005)
In your last letter you were asking me about my news. So, I have to tell you that I am sick. My residents don’t seem to care about me. During the last centuries they are injuring me every single day in many ways. They are polluting my environment, they are hunting my animals and they are filling me with garbage. If you take a better look on me, you will see those wounds. My situation is difficult but at least it is still irreversible.
On the one hand, there are some organizations, which care about me. On the other hand, these organizations don’t have many allies. This is the reason why all of my residents should bear in mind that my recovery can only come, if all the people adopt habits in every aspect of their daily life, which are not harmful to me.
For instance, it would be very helpful to me if humans showed me that they think of me when they are dealing with their households. To my belief, they should reduce the quantities of the garbage of their houses, especially if they live on small islands or in places, where it is possible to lack the appropriate infrastructure for the wastes carriage. Furthermore, it would be prudent for humans to avoid the use of plastic cups and plates. Another idea would be the shopping of detergents in compact form, because these kinds of products demand smaller or even paper package. Moreover, another kind of help to me would be the regular recycling of paper and the use of towels, whenever this is possible, instead of paper. Paper is thrown away after its use, while for its whitening is demanded chlorine, which pollutes my environment. My residents, also, should not forget that refreshments cans can easily be recycled and their recycling contributes to the reduction of the garbage and the sparing of energy.
Another area, where humans could show me that they care about me, is their work. So, they could start organizing programmes of recycling glass, aluminium and paper, by placing appropriate cans in their working offices. Additionally, it would be very helpful to me, if they applied the system of double – side copies, because in this way they would save thousands pages of paper and I would save thousand of trees.
In addition, people should not forget about me, when they go for shopping. That’ s why, they should learn to choose products not only according to their quality, but also according to their possible consequences to me. Furthermore, they should prefer products in glass packages, and especially those, which are reusable. Moreover, another idea would be the avoidance of plastic bags and the use of paper bags or shopping – nets. They should remember that the bigger size of one product has proportionally the smaller – in weight – package.
Additionally, people should bear in minds that I need protection during their vacations, too. So, they should not throw away lighten cigarettes out of their cars and under no circumstances start fires, when they camp in forests. If they find a wounded wild animal, they should contact immediately with the local authorities. They should not pollute the sea or the beaches with garbage or plastic, because these can become cause of death for several animals. Especially, when humans go fishing, they should not throw fishing – lines in the sea or on the sand, because things like these can be a death trap for many birds. I share the opinion that humans should avoid any kind of illegal fishing activity and they should not approach areas, where protected animal speeches inhabit. In the end, people, when they are on vacations, should not buy souvenirs, which are made out of ivory, leather, etc. and other materials, which come of endangered species.
Moreover, one of the things, which are very harmful to me, is the bad use of car. I would advise humans to use, whenever this is possible, the means of public transportation. Also, if they maintain their car in good condition, they will be able to save up to 5% of fuel and of course to harm me less. Furthermore, I have been told that if humans checked regularly the pressure of the air of their tires, they would manage to reduce the fuel consumption up to 10%. Finally, it would be very helpful to me, if people did not loaded unnecessarily the trunk of their cars, because a lighter car consumes less fuel and consequently it pollutes less my environment.
My friend Mars, all these are small things, which if humans do, they will help me to recover soon and create together a better and happier global society. I hope that you don’t face the same problems with your residents.