Going Green

By Emiliano Vera Jr.
July 5, 2013

LOS ANGELES, Ca.: I would love to live in a community that is healthy, clean and energy-efficient. Growing up in the streets of Los Angeles, where thinking green isn’t a concern, I have seen the dirtiest streets–it is not a pretty sight. This leads me to wonder: If many parts of a big city look like that, what does the rest of the world look like?

Now that we are running out of resources and we are realizing the Earth is changing at a dramatic rate, commercials, posters and even politicians are urging us to find ways to help save energy and cause less pollution. Why? There are many reasons.

One reason is saving money. By saving energy–which means turning off lights that are not being used, unplugging any unnecessary devices from outlets, etc.–electricity costs can be reduced while helping the environment at the same time. But some people either do not know or care about these facts and currently don’t make saving energy and fighting pollution a priority.

Crystal Penaloza, a student from Santee High School, noted, “We all know what’s the right thing to do, but we don’t make it a priority.” I agree, because when people, including myself, see people litter, we often just continue with our day instead of doing something about it.

I have my own reason why we should go green. Walking in the streets of Los Angeles can be an adventure–and not a fun one. You could walk on one block and it might be in decent shape, but another might be dirty and smelly.

But who wouldn’t want to live a community that is healthy and vibrant? The only way a community can be as clean as possible is if everyone in the community is involved and communicates. This leads to less conflict and teaches kids that keeping the streets clean is the right thing to do.

Thinking green should become a worldwide habit, because we all live on the same planet. Even if we are keeping our part of the world clean, another might be polluted, and we will all be affected by that, too.

I am a student from Santee High School, and as someone who enjoys nature, it makes me sad that the planet is being destroyed by bags of chips and pollution from motor vehicles and that I am one of the few people I know who practice green thinking in daily life. I would like to spread information about why being green is important and how to take steps to save the planet.


Editor’s note: This story is one of seven pieces written by students from Santee Education Complex as part of a joint project between the high school and the Daniel Pearl Foundation.