Spring is in the air, and Earth Day is right around the corner. Our planet is heating up, precipitation patterns are changing drastically, and we are dying as a result. Meanwhile, we use earth's resources — water, plants, fossil fuels, etc. — like it's nothing while giving nothing back in return. We pollute the oceans and the air, and we don't think twice about it. That needs to change.

So what if one person's actions might not seem like much? So what if we're probably already doomed? So what if 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global greenhouse gas emissions? How are we supposed to fix that? Well, the issue is obviously rooted in deeper problems that probably started when we first polluted, but that doesn't mean we can't try.

1. Educate yourself about the environment.

Don't let this be you.

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It never hurts to be informed, especially when our future is impacted by the choices we make today. Remember that climate change is not just a theory, but supported and agreed on by a majority of the scientific community. Realize that although it's not great, it is improving, in part because of policy and our conscious efforts to make it better.

2. Vote for representatives that are pro-environment.

Tell 'em, Taylor.

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The people in power are the ones making decisions about the number of emissions that corporations are "allowed" to release into the air or how much waste they can produce. If you don't want to see companies buying out candidates so they can pollute more, then don't let those candidates reach office.

3.  Actually make an effort to live sustainably.

The four R's of green living.

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I'm sure you've heard all about the benefits of a vegetarian diet or been told to recycle your plastics. This is a good start. Being aware of your own habits can play a part. Maybe you notice that you always drive somewhere that you could maybe walk, ride a bus or bike, or carpool to, or realize that you can bring your own cup to Starbucks instead of getting a new cup every time. Baby steps.

4. Encourage others to go green.

Me when my coworker brings a disposable water cup to work instead of a reusable bottle.

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What's the point if we're not all in this together? Get your friends in on green living too. Even tell your coworkers and employers while you're at it.

5.  Remember why you’re doing this.

Why would you ever want to hurt her?!?

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This isn't a performance and it's definitely not to prove anything to anyone. We should want to live greener to help the planet, not just ourselves. It was here before us, after all. Shouldn't the earth get some respect?

These aren't immediate solutions. We still need to address the big polluters and transition to using cleaner energy, if we want to make a larger impact. It takes time and effort, but I am determined to live my whole life without killing the planet, and you should be too.