The Oil Spill Disaster

Aimee is from West Chester, PA, and she is 15 years old. She has a passion for figure skating, ballet and playing the piano. She loves challenges and aspires to be a lawyer when she is older.Oiled Bird - Black Sea Oil Spill 11/12/07 by marinephotobank.

The current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is considered one of the largest offshore oil spills in U.S. history. The oil began gushing out of the ocean floor on April 20, 2010 following the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. This explosion killed 11 oil rig workers and injured 17 workers. On April 28, 2010, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated that 5,000 barrels or 210,000 U.S. gallons of oil are spewing from the ocean floor each day.  This estimate however, is under dispute among many people and some believe that the amount of spewing oil is 10 times this estimate.

This oil spill is a huge disaster that endangers the environment and is affecting the lives of many people and animals in the Gulf of Mexico area. Teens should be aware of the results of this oil spill and should be ready to help the environment recover from this disaster. A list of things that teens and parents can do can be found at http://www.takepart.com/news/2010/04/30/the-gulf-coast-oil-leak-how-to-help. Everything on this list, which includes things such as reporting oiled wildlife and requesting volunteer information, can help recover the environment and animals that are affected by the oil spill.

Of course, not everyone lives near the Gulf Coast and not everyone has the resources to visit the areas affected by the oil spill, so there are other simple things that teens and families can do to help reduce the effects of other events that are harmful to the environment. Here is a list of 10 things that can easily be done to help the environment:

  1. Carpool: Things like sharing car rides with friends when going to the movies, driving to work with a fellow employee, riding home from school on the school bus can all help the environment.
  2. Recycle: Recycle everything that you can to help reduce waste.
  3. Precycle: Buy things that are able to be recycled so that you can recycle things more.
  4. Cut down on shower time: This uses less water and helps the environment in so many ways.
  5. Use florescent lighting: Florescent lighting uses less electricity which means that carbon emissions are reduced while generating electricity.
  6. Clean up your local beach: This can be a great help to your local environment and really if everyone did this, it would help reduce the amount of pollution in the oceans.
  7. Use rechargeable batteries: This cuts down on the batteries that are thrown into the trash and into the landfills.
  8. Buy secondhand clothes: This reduces the amount of trash that goes into landfills.
  9. Stop your junk mail: This will help to reduce the amount of paper that is used.

10.  Plant a tree: Trees suck up CO2 gases and are very good for the environment. If you can’t plant one, try a potted plant.

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