By Andrea Alvarez

Invest in Our Planet – that’s this year’s Earth Day theme.

But climate change advocates say Earth Day should just be the beginning of a long term commitment between us and our planet.

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“Being an election year, we have to raise our voices. Each individual at home can do something about it.” said climate change advocate Thais Lopez, founder of VoLo Foundation. She urges us to start with our representatives. “I always say, it’s not red or blue. It’s a green issue and it’s effecting the whole population.”

First topic, by land. Lopez emphasizes the importance of transportation and moving to electric and hybrid vehicles.

“I mean, you can save money on the price of gas that is so high right now. I did it myself 5 years ago.”

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Then, by sea.

“The intrusion in your drinking water is very important,” she said. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, rising sea level increases the salinity of both surface water and ground water through saltwater intrusion. “So our health is being effected as well.” She says geographical location plays a major role in what we put into our oceans and what we get out of it, such as plastic. “We consume it from the fish, we consume if from the wrapping that all the products come from. We consume it from the bottles of water that we use every day,” said Lopez.

One topic she says isn’t being focused on enough is agriculture, especially living in the sunshine state.

“The seasons are changing because of climate change, so they’re seeing patterns that they didn’t see before,” she mentions production slowing at high rates. “We have to think that this is the only earth, or the only planet, so far, that is livable.”

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