By Livielle Peters, tree, water, and earth lover, Wylie Elementary School, Dexter, Michigan

You, me, trees, water, and our natural world, need each other. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, which we can’t breathe.  The more trees that are being cut down, the more carbon dioxide is released into the air. We need to protect our trees.  

Our trash and plastic are ending up in our waters.  Animals can’t live in a world of trash. They think the trash is food and eat it, get sick, and most likely perish. Around 700 marine animals may go extinct because of plastic pollution.

Aquatic animals usually absorb the oxygen in the water, and with trash in the water, when the trash decays it decreases oxygen levels in the water and makes it hard for the aquatic animals to survive.

So if you see some trash on the ground, (or anywhere else,) please pick it up, you’re saving a land or water animal right then and there. You can choose to make an impact. 

Thinking about making a difference may sound intimidating, but if we all make small changes, they add up and we can help. We can start today! 

Here are 5 things you can start with that will help! 

1-Plant a tree. The more trees we have, the cleaner the air. Trees are helpful to our environment by providing oxygen, improving the quality of the air we breathe, providing us with delicious food, they conserve water, preserving soil, and creating homes for our animals. Photosynthesis is a process where trees take in carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we breathe to make our air better.

2-Use paper wisely. Paper is made out of trees and you have to cut down trees to make paper. Using less paper cuts down on energy used to make paper and transport it. Using less also cuts down on all the pollution and waste going into landfills.

3- Recycle. This helps not just the trees, but the earth and our waters too. Learn what is recyclable and not, and use products that can be recycled. With recycling, things can be reused, and there will be less junk in landfills.

4-Substitute something you use on a daily basis with something that’s a lot more eco-friendly. Use biodegradable products to decrease the waste in landfills. It takes less energy to manufacture biodegradable products and releases fewer harmful substances when breaking down the products.

It is our responsibility to help preserve the earth for future generations.

5- Eat less or no meat at all. Meat has a negative environmental impact on our earth. Raising, processing, and transporting meat burns fossil fuels, which pollute the air. Making just one hamburger uses enough fossil fuel to drive a small car 20 miles. Fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas), when burnt, emit carbon dioxide, which is a pollutant when it is released into other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. That’s where the trees come in. Save or plant a tree, and help the environment. 

Planet Detroit partnered with the Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition and teachers across Michigan to recruit these youth voices on how climate change affects kids’ lives. Here are their stories.

By: Livielle Peters, 4th Grade

Teacher: Susan Karsch, Wylie Elementary, Dexter

Subject: Climate Change

Theme: Climate Change Resilience and Action

Type: Written Reflection