by Greta Romualdi, 12 years old (Siena, Italy)
“I have a dream” said once a man called Martin Luther King . But I really do have a dream and my dream is that there will be no more global warming or pollution or no extinction of polar bears. I have to admit that I am lucky. The sustainability report of my house is great. But think for a moment, how many balance sheets are really balanced? My family and I manage to have low consumption of energy because of the LED lights that are on only if needed, and the heating we use is definitely environmental friendly. Thanks to great fixtures on the windows our house is energy efficient and we do not suffer the cold. Living in the countryside gives me the permission to have a vegetable garden which cuts down the cost of buying vegetables. The food waste that we create gets given to the animals we have. So food waste does not exist at my house because everything gets reduced, reused and recycled. As you may know recycling is essential as Leonardo di Caprio says: “certain people are going to be vilified for not taking action….” It is really true, if we do not recycle, we the new generation have to make a change, we have to help the polar bears and the monkeys in the Amazon rainforest to survive. Even if we are in Italy we can make a change. I recycle everything and try to separate objects in order that they get thrown in the correct bin. We seed wheat in order to make our own bread so that we cut down the cost of buying bread.
Knowledge is important to act differently. I found a way of calculating how many kg of carbon dioxide emissions we create. I do 500km a week only to go to school and I found out that the emissions my car has are 113g of CO2 per kilometre. So just to go to school the emissions of carbon dioxide of my car are 56,5kg per week. That is mind-blowing and I feel so horrible. I am sorry that we put profit above people and use nature as a credit card. I did not think that only one person could pollute this much. A bus produces 300g of CO2 every kilometre. If a bus does 1,000km in one week to take to school 10 kids, the total will be 300,000g, so 300kg of CO2 per week. If my school organizes a school bus that would already reduce lots of emissions of carbon dioxide.
Now, my house sustainability reports is really excellent, but let’s compare it to one of a huge factory like Nike. That is totally different, my family and I can help the environment but what about a Nike factory which is 40 times bigger than my house? So what can we do? We should contact these factories and show them statistics to let them know what really is the situation. For centuries atmospheric carbon dioxide had never been above a certain line, a certain level. Now it is above that line and that level. This should make us understand that we as individuals can make a change but it’s the big, humongous factories that have to realise their sustainability report and how environmental unfriendly they are. A meat industrial factory, do you know how polluting it is? Cows are lovely animals but they devastate our planet. When cows fart they release an enormous amount of methane. Methane is one of the causes of global warming. When I say the words climate change nobody really thinks of cows. People think of carbon dioxide, cars and pollution. We should be careful with cows because they can be as lovely as dangerous. Industrial factories that produce cow meat give the cows a special food that is called pellet that makes them gain weight quickly so that farmers can sell more meat. This type of food makes them fart more and that means more methane released. To make only one hamburger we need 660 gallons of water which are equivalent to two months of our showering. So not only it creates global warming but also a lot of water is wasted. The UCS (Union of concerned Scientists) explains that the industrial meat factories in America represent the 6% of the emissions of greenhouse gases in the United States; this is the emission of 24million cars.
If the cows stopped eating pellet but started eating more natural plants such as grass, their emission of methane would be much lower. So all we should do is let the poor cows eat their natural food instead of chemical things.
Two very famous Italian factories that produce animal made products such as yogurt are Alce Nero and Mila. Basically these industries tried to improve their sustainability report. What these factories did is they made cows eat only the grass of the mountains of Alto Adige, so the emissions of methane created by cows was reduced. They managed to produce a yogurt that was more ecological than before. With this idea all yogurt companies should take action and try to do the same thing too. Eating only grass instead of pellet containing cereals, soy and antibiotics the cows produce less milk because they have less energy but at least this helps the planet. This is also good for the health of people eating yogurt because they will not assume part of the antibiotics that are in the cow’s body. If we really wanted to make a huge change, we should all convert to being vegetarian or vegan because only that would clean the air and help the Earth.
We should sustain the company in which Leonardo di Caprio invested, it is called the Beyondmeat, the hamburgers are totally vegetarian but they contain a mix of proteins such as beans, beets and coconut oil. All these ingredients are very similar to the proteins that the meat gives us so the body has no problem.
All these factories try to improve their sustainability report. Try to improve yours too. Everything links like the umbilical cord that linked us and our mother. We are the new generation; we have to make a change as individuals and communities. Remember if we do not act the next generation will not see the beauty of the Earth because everything will be destroyed. You can make a change.