Nature offers us a place to meditate, escape and find inner peace. I love to ride my mountain bike along the college camp trails to the hill crests where I can look out onto the town. Watching the sunset from these spots helps me feel “one” with my environment. I hope that everyone has the chance to experience the beauty of the natural environment on campus. When more individuals have these connections to natural places, they’ll feel more inclined to protect them.
Helping to protect our environment is not that hard to do. There are hundreds of actions we can take that are easy and fun. An example is cleaning with vinegar and baking soda. If the smell of vinegar is too harsh for you, look into using lemon juice and salt. When mixed together, the salt helps scrub away at dirt while the acidity in the lemon kills germs.
Use natural cleaners to limit your exposure to harsh chemicals. If you have cleaning chemicals you are looking to get rid of, look up the date for hazardous waste disposal in your area. Otsego County actually has an annual “Household Hazardous Waste Day” every September. These may seem like small actions, but even the smallest efforts add up and have potentially huge outcomes.
One woman whose small steps led to a huge environmental movement in Kenya is Wangari Maathai. She is the founder of the Green Belt movement in Kenya and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Maathai and thousands of other heroic individuals volunteered to plant trees to improve the lives of people in Kenya. She fought tenaciously to protect the trees and her people, because she recognized how important the trees were for the health of Kenya’s people and its environment. Today, the Green Belt movement has successfully planted millions of trees to help deforested areas recover.
Being environmentally aware and having an impact in your community doesn’t require you to motivate thousands, but to simply be a conscious individual.
Get inspired and motivated to help out! Find which natural environment brings back positive memories for you and think about how you can go about protecting that environment.