***Warning: You are about to read an article of opinion. This content might produce feelings and opinions for some of my readers. If you would like to comment about your opinion, please do so in a constructive manner. I would love to hear your thoughts and give you the opportunity to respond, but unkind remarks will not be accepted. Thank you. -Elle***
When the state of Iowa was first settled, it was a giant forest. River to river was all trees and plants and so many other green things. Animals prospered and there was a natural way about the place. Now, there are fields after fields and houses and roads and cars and humans interfering with nature.
Lately, I have noticed the news and talk about climate change increasing. It’s a terrifying reality that makes me realize all of the harm humankind has caused this once-beautiful planet of ours. I know that this issue- the topic of climate change in general- is immensely controversial… but I have to get my thoughts out. I want to be able to leave this planet knowing that everything is going to be alright for those I am leaving behind. I am terrified that my 7 times great grandchildren won’t ever know what it is like to breathe clean air or to walk a street unlined with trash.
Ice caps are melting. Ocean levels are rising. The seasons are becoming inconsistent. What happens when we can’t fix the damage we, as a species, have caused?
It is in the best interest of humankind that every single person begin to consider the impact they have on this planet. If you decide that you’re a little scared, too, then join me in beginning to change your doily routine to help our planet. Walk or bike to work a couple times a week if you live close enough. Use reusable grocery bags when shopping. Ask for no straw when you go out to eat. Plant a tree. Pick up trash and recycle what you can. If you are in the market for new food containers, consider glass rather than plastic. Turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth. Trade a tiny bit of convenience for a huge long term effect. If you don’t want to do anything physically, donate to organizations who do!
I am not advocating for everyone to be all in, super crunchy, or a tree-hugger… Even I am not any of those. I am suggesting that there are so, so many small changes a person can make in just one day that can have a lasting impact for years to come. You don’t have to make a whole lifestyle shift, but you can reduce your footprint by a shoe size or two. You don’t need to be rich or well-known to advocate for our planet. You don’t have to join protests or movements or organizations. You just have to commit to one or two things. And then once you have those down, consider adding something else.
This planet is important to me. My 7 times great grandchildren deserve to grow up in a non-desolate, beautiful place just like I did. Just like my 7 times great grandparents did. Let’s make a change, for the better.