Awards and Events
Earth Day 2022 with Sarah, Project Specialist
Climate change is not about you and me, it is about respect for the natural world. We cannot ignore climate change any longer – deadly hurricanes, storms, heatwaves, fires, and droughts across the world can be linked to climate change – and these effects are not just limited to faraway places. This past year I have seen firsthand the effects of the megadrought here in Utah. While hiking I’ve seen leaves hanging listlessly from trees in the smoggy sky and animals fighting to find water. As a desert, Utah is prone to wildfires and droughts, but these have become more severe in recent years. Seeing the Great Salt Lake and many other reservoirs’ water at all-time lows has really brought climate change to the forefront of my mind. I have always been a believer, but after visiting many national parks this year and seeing the devastating effects of climate change on those protected lands, I cannot just idly sit by and do nothing.
We perpetuate the effects of climate change when we choose not to make an active effort to protect the other inhabitants of our planet. Nature has a unique and delicate balance – it even has the capacity to negate some of the effects of our actions. When we destroy nature we only amplify the effects of climate change. In Florida, for example, the mangroves historically provided strong protection from hurricanes. When Miami bulldozed them in favor of smooth white beaches to attract tourists, they left themselves far more vulnerable to the destruction of hurricanes. This was the case with hurricane Andrew. These plants did not have a voice, but they did have a purpose. One that we noticed far too late.
I am focusing on reducing my carbon footprint in all areas of my life. I don't own my own home and cannot install solar panels to completely reduce my reliance on the grid, but I am making efforts in other places. My husband and I limit our impact by working from home most days and we plan to buy an electric or hybrid car soon. We have made an effort to take shorter showers, water our lawn less frequently, and we have switched over to biodegradable plastics after seeing the beautiful coral reefs in the Florida Keys. Everyone should have the chance to see these magnificent habitats in the wild, but they may only last another 20 years if nothing changes.
My husband and I have also begun switching what we eat. We are not perfect, but we are trying to eat less red meat, and more sustainably farmed fish. We have switched to a weekly meal plan that includes vegetarian meals twice a week and fish twice a week. The remaining 3 days are split between chicken and red meat. We are determined to make choices that are good for Planet Earth. There is a balance that allows us to eat our favorite foods occasionally without ruining ecosystems.
We also like to grow our own produce and fruit. There is something more refreshing about eating fruit picked from your backyard, rather than from countries you have never even visited. We are also open to trying or investing in sustainably engineered meat and milk products. Our purchasing power goes a long way to promoting alternatives to the status quo that actually might save our home planet.
I am far from perfect in saving Planet Earth, but even some mild collective changes, along with reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, might be enough to avert the total meltdown of our home. Nature is resilient as was demonstrated when the Earth shut down during the global pandemic. We must do more to find a better balance and leave our home better than we found it.
July 20, 2022
Awards and Events
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Awards and Events