Beyond the Bubble

Maxine Martinez, CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

   The downstairs of my family’s townhouse is small. A fact which would have made it feel extremely dark and closed in were it not for large sliding glass doors that took up half of the back wall. Beyond those doors lies a patio, just as small, but an oasis nonetheless. 


   Vibrant greens could be seen sprouting from every corner. The bushes grew larger every day, covering the white fence which protected us from the outside world. The small tree which was first planted had transformed. Its branches spread out, like a mother’s arms shielding its child from something bad. And the flowers, the ones my mom and grandmother planted, always seemed to be in bloom.


   My mother kept our slice of paradise immaculate. The same way she kept the rest of our house. Every inch, starting from that white fence to the end of our driveway, was clean. The problem laid outside of our bubble. While the air in our property seemed to be crisp, maintained by its environment, the surrounding world was failing. Kids pulled at trees’ branches, yanking and breaking their arms. Trash was littered across fields and parks. The sight of white plastic flowing in the wind and tumbling across sidewalks is a familiar sight driving through my town. 


    This trend seemed to continue throughout America despite that much of the country’s popularity is accredited to its environments like its beaches, national parks, or landmarks. Yet, we seem to be losing consideration for the place we live in. People have become less concerned with the trash that they are producing along with their overall treatment of the world. According to an article in, “Each year 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, stormwater, and industrial waste are dumped into US water.” This same article said, “Americans make up an estimated 5% of the world’s population. However, the US uses 25% of the world’s resources (…)” It is statistics like this that show just how big of a strain we have on our planet. 


    My mother’s obsession for maintaining a clean environment has been passed down to me. When I was young we used to walk the streets of our neighborhood picking up whatever trash was left behind. The concept of making the planet more “green” used to be simple to me, but with age, I realize that most people’s apprehensions stem from the idea that it means more work on their part. 


   However, it does not fall in the hands of one to change the planet’s future. Instead, it falls in the hands of, not just many, but all. People do not need to undergo drastic lifestyle changes either. People just must become more self-aware. Recycle, compost, walk instead of taking a car across the street. Because as we’ve seen, the little things add up.