What Would Greta Do?

The simple phrase ”global warming” can be heard every day in my house. From time to time it may be a discussion at a meal, but more often it is just those two words used to point out the effects of a particular action. Perhaps the dishwasher was run half full on a two hour cycle, global warming. Somebody just ordered a box of junk food from Amazon that they could have gotten at the gas station on their next trip to town, global warming. Somebody took a new sheet of paper to write one sentence rather than using the cut up strips of scrap paper, global warming. Refusing to use hand me down snow pants and instead going to buy a new pair, global warming. Buying tomatoes from South America rather than from the farm stand up the road, global warming.

I could go on and on with examples here, but that’s not the point. The point is is that we have dozens of opportunities every day to make healthy decisions for the planet, but we often choose ourselves instead. I think that what Greta has started is wonderful, but what I personally experience with the youths of today is a lack of connection between their actions and the effects that they have on the go environment. It is all good and fun to go for a global march strike but it is bullshit if you’re not backing it up in your day-to-day practice. You will always be the problem if you are not actively seeking to be part of the solution.

We are currently in a time considered to be mass extinction. Animals used to go extinct one every thousand years. Now it is one every 10. The last catastrophe that wiped out all existence was the astroid that hit the earth and caused the Ice Age. Scientists are now referring to humanity as the comment that will bring about the next Ice Age. This goes so far beyond reusable straws and buying products that support ocean clean up, this is going to take total accountability from all people’s.

Didn’t we all see (or read) the Lorax? Did Dr. Seuss not accurately foretell our future? And if you haven’t seen the Lorax stop reading this and go watch it, it’s fantastic. When I was a kid we didn’t have the movie the Lorax, we had Ferngully. And I firmly believe that Ferngully turned me into the proud crunchy adult that I am today. That, and my mother telling me that if I didn’t recycle that my children will be playing on garbage dumps. I’ve never been able to shake the image of a swingset on top of the pile of trash. And in all reality that is the direction we are moving. So ask yourselves what would Greta do? Greta didn’t light a fire to be nominated for a Nobel peace prize, she lit a fire to ignite our awareness to the tragic reality that we are facing if we do not wake up and do something different. And sure, that starts with reusable straws, but it also includes eating local and organic food, it means using non-toxic cleaners in your home, it means buying ethically sourced clothing, minimizing waste etc. It means caring, about the planet, and the future generations. It means educating each other in safe ways. It means trying to make a difference with each decision that we make. This can’t an option, it’s a necessity.

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