Friday, April 24, 2009

Earth Day Tip # 17: If You Don't, Who Will?

Disclaimer: This might get preachy. I kept editing it, trying to make it less preachy, but I just have to accept that sometimes if you feel strongly enough about something, it may just sound preachy. Sorry!

One thing that keeps me passionate about living a green life is knowing what I do actually does effect things around me. How often do we go through life feeling small and insignificant? As if everything we're trying for has no impact in the grand scheme of things? Being green is one way in which I know my actions are taking effect on things around me and that there is an impact in what I do.

We, as humans, are supposedly the most intelligent creatures on Earth, yet we (as a whole race) are driving it into the ground, taking everything thing else on this planet with us, and, for the majority of us, not even thinking twice about it. The good thing about being the most intelligent creature on Earth? We can do something about it!

I don't want to sit by idly and say "I wish there was something I could do." Instead, because I am one of the most intelligent creatures on Earth, I'm going to do my part and do what I can for those that can't take action for themselves, particularly wildlife and nature.

Take a look at this slideshow from Treehugger about 10 animals that may very well become extinct in our lifetime.

What's the recurring reason that these animals are becoming extinct? Human neglect and our complete lack of respect for the environment. 2 of these animals are near extinction because humans have almost hunted them into oblivion, another 5 due to loss of habitat by destruction caused by humans (most often in efforts to sustain our gregarious living habits), and 3 animals from a combination of both.

I think the first experience in which I felt so strongly about animal conservation was when I watched a leatherback turtle lay her eggs in Grenada. During that amazing night, I learned how these beautiful creatures were declining in huge numbers due to human neglect, egg poaching and habitat destruction. The truly unfortunate thing is that the fate of leatherback turtles are really in our hands. If we do nothing to help save their species, they will disappear. And not just the leatherback turtles, but many other animals as well.

I also think back on my trip to Kauai almost ten yers ago. One of the highlights of that trip was my last night. I was drying off on the beach after a day of snorkeling and I caught sight of something flapping in the ocean. Although I couldn't make out what it was, I rushed out into the water. Sure enough, I ended up swimming with two green turtles as the sun started to set! Almost ten years later, I still get butterflies just thinking about that moment: the excitement, the joy, the sheer elation of the experience of swimming with those turtles. I want to have more of those experiences and I want you to have that experience and I want my future children to have that experience too.

Perhaps this is why I'm so passionate about environmentalism and being green. I think this home we call Earth is just so amazing, with so many beautiful things to see and to experience. I'm willing to do everything I possibly can to keep it that way. For me and for future generations.

What about you? Are you going to join me in keeping this Earth amazing so that we can all continue to live beautiful and amazing lives, wherever we are and whatever we are doing?

The Earth Day blog series have been a real pleasure for me but I think this is the perfect way to end it. I'm sorry that it's a week ahead of schedule but I'm sure there will be more discussions about this in my blog in the future. Thank you for following along!

Earth Day may have passed but we shouldn't focus on appreciating the Earth just one day out of the year. We should appreciate it every day and we should live our lives without taking our world for granted. It's for us, it's for our future and it's for all things living.

Go Team Green!

© Connie Hum 2009

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