Friday, October 7, 2011

Personal Environmentalism is for the Bears

Form the bean of Green Bean.

I closed the book and kissed my son good night.  Putting the book down, I glanced once more at the trio of bears on the cover.

The answer to the last one is probably not.  But my thoughts on individual actions have changed after reading this book to my son - his choice, the first of a series called Seekers.  The series follows three separate bear cubs - a polar bear, a grizzly and a black bear - through today's "wild" landscape.  The landscape in the book is clearly degraded - ice melted too soon, prey depleted, humans encroaching on the bears' natural habitat.  I don't miss the irony that it took a children's novel to remind me that living lightly is about more than just Climate Change.  That is just one piece of the puzzle.  How I live affects everything and everyone around me - especially if I'm not the only one on this bandwagon.

Buying second hand means that fewer trees are cut down.  Driving less may mean less intrusion on precious habitat for pipelines and less air pollution.  Using less plastic means a little less goes into the ocean.  As Going Green Mama commented on my post, generating less waste may mean that my town doesn't need to build another landfill.  Supporting local farms means that there is less urban development, less big rigs on the road and, hopefully, farmers who are more supportive of hedgerows and environmentally friendly planting practices.  Even as the planet continues to warm, my efforts to live with less mean that other fellow Earth inhabitants have a slightly better shot at survival.  

Thank you depressing children's novel (and commenters on my original post) for helping me see the personal environmentalism does make a difference - for the bears, the birds, and all of earth's other tenants, including us humans.

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