What do you care about?

If I had to make a list of the things I care about it would look something like this:

  • my family
  • my friends
  • the environment
  • healthy living and physical education

I care about these things. A LOT!

When I was in my first year of university, I was still deciding what I wanted to study and what really held my interest. The summer after, I made a lot of decisions which ended in me changing my majors twice; the first time being before second year started and the second time mid-way through second year. All in all, I was trying to figure out what I liked and as Arts student, I had to decide what I wanted to fight for when writing long, 10 paged essays.

One night at the dinner table, my brother and I got into a slight argument. I am not one who enjoys confrontation or arguments for the sake of. Even if I know I am right, I don’t like battling strong opinions because it’s not worth my energy if their viewpoint will never change, no matter the solid facts that I have. My dad told me that I needed to “learn to fight for something” because I decided to say “I don’t know… whatever” instead of continuing my argument. The conversation was going in circles and I wasn’t feeling it. So I sat back in my chair at the table and was not in the mood to keep fighting but his words really stuck with me.

“FIGHT FOR SOMETHING”

So I did.

My environment degree is probably one of my favourite things, aside from my dog and coffee. There are so many wonderful things that the earth does for us and we take it for granted and treat it like it’s useless. It gives us:

  • soil to grow food,
  • water to drink/clean/live,
  • trees to filter our air
  • trees to cool our neighbourhoods
  • a space to live
  • AND MANY MORE

So I fight for it. I chose the environment as my something. The U.N met this year to reevaluate the Paris Agreement from 2016 and they’ve concluded that we have 12 years to make changes or the planet, at the rate we’re heading, will fall into irreversible damage and human induced climate change will cause more problems than we can imagine.

I tread lightly when using the term “human-induced climate change” because people use it like 15 year olds say “anxious”. If you don’t know what it means, you shouldn’t tell someone who studies the environment they “need to relax” because I’m sorry I’m getting heated about this topic, Linda, but you don’t know what you’re talking about. If one more person tells me to “relax” about my opinions on climate change and humans and trying to save the planet I will turn into that thing in Moana.

Here is the low down on “human-induced climate change” and please remember this. Global warming is a natural occurring cycle that the planet goes through, however our constant need to use certain energy sources (coal, oil), single use plastics (straws and water bottles) and deforestation have forced the planet into a constant state of warming. The planet sees humans as the flu; its white blood cells are working harder and harder everyday to fight back and cool the planet but our emissions are too much for it to handle. We’re at the point where our foot print is too great and our impact on the earth has greater negative than positive impacts. The seasonal flu shot does not stand a chance…

Unless we make changes.

After studying the environment, our impact on the earth, and the wonderful things that nature provides for a species that doesn’t seem to really care about it, I take great offence to when my pleas to “make a difference” are brushed off and seen as me “over reacting”. Knowing that humans have 12 years to make a difference or our global home is screwed and not doing anything, even something small, is not me judging you. That is me not understanding why you don’t want a healthy home for your friends, family or others.

We all make decisions every single day on how we’re going to live our lives. Some choose to go to the gym because they want that 6 pack. Others choose to bring their reusable cup, save 10 cents on every drink and reduce the amount of single use plastic tossed in the trash. WHAT IS SO WRONG ABOUT THAT? What is so wrong about wanting a healthy home? What is so wrong about wanting to do good?

The environment is my fight and it hurts my head when people, especially my family and friends, don’t take me seriously about my cause. This is your home too! Everyone made a big deal about me not making decisions on what I wanted, or not fighting for the things I have to say, well here I am! I think the environment is an important cause and that if you can’t even use a reusable cup because you think Monopoly at McDonald’s is more important to play than you’re lazy. I think planting trees is cool. I think not buying plastic water bottles because “they’re convenient” is smart. I think not eating a lot of meat is important because meat production, especially beef, uses a lot of energy and water and it has a great footprint on the environment…

I care about my family, friends, the environment, physical and mental health, and many other things. I would fight for all of them. Right now I’m fighting my hardest for the environment because it’s the only one without a voice that speaks our language.

In the words of my favourite character, the Lorax, “I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues”. — Dr. Seuss

That’s my fight. What are you fighting for?