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Once Upon a Tide

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Pollution, overfishing, and climate change are three major environmental issues that are threatening the health and well-being of our planet. It is imperative that people take action against these issues to prevent further damage to our ecosystem. In this article, we will discuss some of the ways in which individuals can take action to combat pollution, overfishing, and climate change.


Pollution is a major problem that affects both land and water. It is caused by human activities such as industrial processes, transportation, and improper waste disposal. Here are some ways in which people can take action against pollution:

  1. Reduce, reuse, and recycle: One of the most effective ways to combat pollution is by reducing waste. By reducing the amount of waste we produce, we can reduce the amount of pollution in our environment. We can also reuse and recycle materials to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
  2. Use eco-friendly products: Using eco-friendly products such as biodegradable detergents, cleaning products, and personal care items can significantly reduce pollution.
  3. Use public transportation: Transportation is one of the major sources of pollution. By using public transportation or carpooling, we can reduce the number of vehicles on the road and, in turn, reduce air pollution.


Overfishing is the depletion of fish stocks due to excessive fishing. It is a serious issue that threatens the survival of many fish species and the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on fishing. Here are some ways in which people can take action against overfishing:

  1. Eat sustainably: One of the most effective ways to combat overfishing is by eating sustainably. This means choosing fish that are caught using sustainable methods and avoiding fish that are overfished or caught using unsustainable methods.
  2. Support sustainable fishing practices: Consumers can support sustainable fishing practices by buying fish that are certified by organizations such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).
  3. Lobby for sustainable fishing policies: People can also take action by lobbying for sustainable fishing policies that regulate fishing practices and protect fish populations.

Climate change

Climate change is one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time. It is caused by the release of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, mainly from burning fossil fuels. Here are some ways in which people can take action against climate change:

  1. Reduce energy consumption: One of the most effective ways to combat climate change is by reducing energy consumption. This can be done by using energy-efficient appliances, turning off lights when not in use, and reducing the use of air conditioning and heating.
  2. Use renewable energy: Using renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydro power can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. Reduce meat consumption: Livestock farming is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. By reducing meat consumption or switching to a plant-based diet, individuals can significantly reduce their carbon footprint.

In conclusion, pollution, overfishing, and climate change are major environmental issues that require immediate action. Individuals can take action by reducing waste, eating sustainably, and reducing energy consumption, among other things. By working together, we can protect our planet and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.

Howard E. Stanton, MD

Howard Stanton, M.D., is a practicing internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

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