Reflections

Why I Became An Environmental Activist

I learnt about Global Warming when I was 11 years old.

I was in grade 5 when my Natural Science teacher gave us a lesson on tree conservation. She gave us the task of making posters about the importance of saving trees. I remember drawing on, ironically,  a piece of green paper a picture of a tree, and this tree had a sad face on its trunk. Next to the sad tree was a speech-bubble and in it were the words “PLEASE HELP!”.

The thought of trees being cut down bothered me. I thought: Trees are cut down to create paper? These books I write in, the papers I draw on, are trees?

After that, I became a ‘wannabe’ environmentalist.

The Journey to Environmentalism

I got side-tracked over the years. I grew up. Life happened. I didn’t forget about Global Warming, I just didn’t see it as a priority in my life. With school, family, friends, fitting into society and now focusing on my studies, my job, social life and living in the ‘grown-up’ world, I thought that the earth was fine.

I thought that Mother nature would take care of herself. There are so many environmental activists out there that they would save planet earth.

However, that didn’t silence the little ‘green’ voice inside my head (no, not jealousy – the environmentalist’s voice). The voice that screamed when I threw my old high school notebooks into the trash instead of recycling them. The voice that complains when I forget to switch off the stove, leave the tap running while I wash the dishes and forget to take a canvas bag with me to the grocery store.

Why You Should Be An Environmental Activist

I can imagine what is going through your mind. Why should I care? How can I be environmentally conscious but still maintain my image of being a cool millennial?

First of all, you should care because we are all earthlings and planet Earth is our home – our only home. Without planet Earth, we would have no home, no food, no friends or family, and worst of all, no internet.

The answer to the second question is balance. I know balance is hard to achieve, but it will be worth it.

So, what do you need to know about Climate Change?

Here are 5 basic facts about Climate Change:

  1. The earth’s climate is changing. The weather patterns are unstable and even more unpredictable. Heat gets trapped underneath a blanket of greenhouses gases in the atmosphere, making the earth warmer (hence the name Global Warming). Imagine being wrapped in thick blankets in the middle of summer and not being able to take them off.
  2. Yes, the bees are endangered, just like several other species.
  3. Humans are the biggest contributors to Global Warming, due to our use of technology, burning of fossil fuels, increase in population, waste, etc.
  4. The icecaps are melting. Polar bears are swimming more than ever.
  5. IT IS NOT A HOAX. There are tons of facts and evidence proving that Global Warming is real. If you do want to learn more about Climate Change then check out WWF (World Wildlife Fund), Climate Central, Real Climate and NASA’s page on Global Warming and Climate Change.

Climate Change is real and it happening as we speak, read, type, breathe…

But don’t lose all hope! Just because we are the biggest contributors does not mean that we cannot change our ways. I hope you join me in taking action to protect the earth. We need to do it now more than ever.



-Kayla

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