By: Ms. Irene Thamrin
Have you ever dreamt of a whole different world? Obviously, it is the better world you dream of. Unfortunately, the world we live in today is inundated with terrifying stories like riots, conspiracy theories about the intoxicated water we drink, escalating pollution, proxy war, and other bad things. All manner of atrocities are swung at us from every single direction, and it is more than enough for the most lighthearted person to slump into a pit of despondence.
Fortunately, we can turn on a little light even in complete darkness. The great way to turn that light on is to be the change we want to see. The world is not up for change by one person; it is rather by making a small commitment in our lives and let others be encouraged to follow the path. A snowball effect can occur and change most, or even the entire planet in time. Here are few simple ways that can change the current world to the dreamed world:
- Plant a Garden
What a little patch of green space can do for the environment might surprise you, and if you have a bit of land that you can turn into a garden, more of an impact in your corner of the planet might surprise you more than you realize. Planting and harvesting your own food means that less has to be carted in from other countries, which decreases the amount of fuel that’ll be shot off into the atmosphere. If instead of food you’d like a flower and herb garden, plant flowers that attract and feed pollinators like bees, butterflies, and birds: they’re disappearing at an alarming rate because of pesticide and insecticide use, so an organic garden full of delicious blossom and seeding plants (like sunflowers, amaranth, and millet) will help exponentially.
If you don’t have your own land but have a thoroughly green thumb, consider getting involved in a community garden project: you’ll help others to develop their gardening skills, help to empower them by showing them how to be self-sufficient with their food security, and that garden will become a supportive ecosystem to all kinds of insects and small animals.
- Stop Polluting the Water
When you are thirsty, truly thirsty, your throat starts to close up and your lips crack and you think your life will end soon. Do you ever feel that? Consider the fact that
our bodies are comprised of nearly 70% water, and nearly all animals and plants require water to survive. Then comes the fact that only 2% of all water on earth is drinkable, and an enormous amount of that is now polluted because of all the trash we keep dumping into it. Every drop of chemical cleaner, every drop of hair dye, every bit of pesticide, paint, non-biodegradable laundry detergent, toilet bowl cleaner, etc. gets into the water system. Although the drinking water in cities is filtered a great deal, most of those toxins still leak into the soil and underground water table, killing life around the planet. Remember the pregnant sperm whale which dies with 10 pounds of plastic trash inside her stomach? What could be worse than that fact? People and animals all over the world often have to choose between dying of thirst, and poisoning themselves with tainted water supplies.
Be very conscious about what it is you pour down your drains or use on your lawns, and try to be as eco-friendly as possible. If you dye your hair, try plant-based dyes or henna instead. Instead of harsh household cleaners, all you really need are vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils. To help take action for clean drinking water, look into environmental-concerned groups like Green Peace, in which you can get involved.
- Speak Up, then Take Action
If there are issues that concern you, use your voice to bring attention to them. Sign petitions, write letters to your member of parliament, make an appointment to sit down with someone who has the power to change things and discuss your worries with them. If someone you know treats another badly, then call them out on their bad behavior: saying nothing is basically just condoning said poor behavior and will make the one getting hurt feel that no one is there to support or defend them. Should you find out that the company that makes your favorite chocolate bar/deodorant/drink has questionable practices, then find a more ethical product that you enjoy just as much, and write to the company you’re now boycotting to let them know why you’ll no longer support them. Your voice can make a profound impact, so let it be heard.