Trying Harder, Much Harder, To Reduce My Impact On The Planet
By Ellie Caryl
Trying harder is the topic I’ve been thinking about constantly lately as I read one article after another about accelerating climate change and chunks of ice larger than Idaho breaking off of Antarctica, and that when a formerly stable glacier there melts, the seas will rise 92 feet. And when I read about the “insect apocalypse” warning that the seasonal and diverse clouds of bugs that used to smash on our car windshields or get in our teeth as we rode our bikes, are disappearing. And that the flowers and plants those insects support will suffer drastically.
And after hearing the stupefying mathematical fact that in 1776 when our country was officially founded, there were an estimated 1 billion humans on the planet, and today we are an estimated 7.7 billion — 6.7 billion more of us in just 243 years.
Perhaps it’s a luxury to ponder how to have a smaller footprint when approximately 3 billion people on the planet, nearly half, live in poverty and are just trying to survive or get by while we, in the United States, generally have access to the basic necessities and so much more.
But I will stand for trying harder to control my own consumption and also for speaking up. I’m the only person I control and manage, and I hope that we, as a country, will all start to do a better job at observing the big picture, thinking what we consume every day and how those energies, goods and wastes feed the bigger, collective impact; ponder population and promote ZPG or less, consider what is a need versus a want.
Many people think or vote with the environment in mind, but things get lost in translation in our daily lives. Keep trying and absolutely keep voting and making the phone calls and speaking up to our elected officials. I know I have a few big things to work on personally — humans are innately hypocritical. But I want my siblings’ grandkids and great grandkids to enjoy clean water and air, see wildlife and wildflowers, marvel at bright starry nights, and hopefully experience solitude.
It’s hard to visualize and accurately predict the future – what we will gain, or adapt to and what we will lose… but in the meantime – I stand for trying: trying harder, being aware, being observant, and connecting the dots to how everything I do truly does impact our one and only planet.
Ellie lives in No Name with the river, bears, and canyon shadows. She hopes for ever-lasting honeybees in her flower garden.