By Chris Kane
My greatest fear is not falling off the ends of the Earth or getting sucked into a giant sinkhole—however, I do live in Florida, so getting sucked into a giant sinkhole is a possibility.
No, my greatest fear today is that people won’t stand up and fight the good fight to protect our planet. Everywhere I go, it seems like people are complaining about how the government isn’t doing this or doing that, or talking about what their neighbors aren’t doing. Well, I hate to break it to you, but we are our worst enemies when it comes to taking action. I’ve given presentations on various topics—mostly “green” issues—and towards the close of every one, I emphasize the same reminder. I tell everyone in attendance that if they are willing, they have the power to change things now and today. Unfortunately, I receive the same reaction every time: a blank stare that reads “you mean, I have to actually do something?”
Speaking strictly from an environmental standpoint, the planet is at a turning point. We’ve moved so far beyond the pale of reason that we will surely suffer some type of consequence. Just how bad the consequence is, however, is totally up to us. If you’re sitting there, waiting for the government to tell you that you can’t fertilize your lawn before you stop doing it— shame on you! The same goes for using disposable plastics or styrofoam; stuffing our face with processed food is not only bad for our health—almost lethal, in fact—but it also contributes to our trash fetish. Of all the items I’ve listed, there is not one, not one, that we can’t do something about today. The rise in organic products in our grocery stores didn’t happen because the agricultural industry found religion— it’s a direct result of the demands of consumers. What is so hard to understand about the fact that we vote with our dollars? When we spend money on a product, we are essentially telling the company that “you’re doing a good job”, “I approve of your sustainability practices”, and “you are concerned about our planet”. If that is not the case, why are you giving said company your hard-earned money?
So, yes, I am fearful that for some reason unknown to me, people will still sit in front of their computer monitors, smart phones, or whatever is the current gadget, and wait for someone else to do the heavy lifting. If we are to save the planet that we live on, it’s time to “man up” (or “person up”) and make sure that happens.
While some days I am certain that my elected officials, at all levels, have forgotten who they work for, I remind myself that I am partly responsible for that because I don’t tell them what my expectations of them are.
It’s time to stand together and make a joyful noise!
Chris Kane is a trained Climate Reality Leader and Citizens Climate Lobby Leader, providing presentations around Brevard County, Florida. She is a graduate of the Sustainable Floridians course and is also a trained Family Herbalist. Additionally, she commits her time to Recycle Brevard, a non-profit devoted to recycling, educating and inspiring our next generation to contributing to building a more sustainable community.