We are a generation of change. We feel passionately about something and we speak up. We make noise when we just don't agree. We stand up for those that cannot stand up for themselves. However, the environment is a topic that gets pushed onto the political agenda's back-burner. We don't talk about it much because it can be a little uncomfortable to admit that a generation of change, isn't really trying to change much in this area.

Pollution is getting worse by the minute. According to surfrider.org, there is currently 5.2 trillion pieces of trash in our oceans, weighing over 250,000 tons. According to dosomething.org, approximately 1 million seabirds and 100,000 sea mammals are killed by pollution every year.

Innocent animals are being killed, habitats are being destroyed, resources are being ruined, and our environment is being attacked.

We claim to be a generation of speaking up and fighting for what's right, yet we still drink from styrofoam cups and plastic straws. We don't take the extra effort to recycle because the trash can is easier. We buy plastic water bottles by the case, yet it's more cost-efficient and better for the ocean to use a reusable water bottle.

We see pictures of the ocean crowded with floating trash and mindlessly share on Facebook, not realizing that is OUR trash. We hear stories of birds and turtles and fish caught in plastic, yet we don't stop to choose the non-plastic option at the grocery store.

I understand it is not always easy. Most companies don't offer environmentally friendly options. Sometimes all a restaurant has is styrofoam cups. It's not always going to be possible. My point is we at least have to try when it is. There are plenty of little things to do that will help. It's just a matter of making the extra effort.

1. use a reusable water bottle

2. buy from companies that donate to beach cleanups, wildlife protection, etc

3. invest in reusable straws

4. use reusable, non-plastic grocery bags

5. compost

6. RECYCLE

7. walk or ride a bike to reduce air pollution

8. use the reusable Starbucks cups

9. buy items that have minimal packaging

10. reuse containers: think peanut butter jars, etc for storage purposes

11. grow a garden

12. Pick up trash when you see it

13. use non-toxic cleaning products

14. purchase appliances with the energy star label

15. use fewer paper products - SAVE THE TREES

and the list goes on and on.

Let's be a generation that speaks up for the sea turtles, for the oceans, for the trees, for the polar bears, for the environment. No matter what you believe in, we were all given this planet somehow.

Let's appreciate it, protect it, and love it. Let's leave less of a negative mark and more of a positive impact.