Tuesday, December 4, 2012

One Little Person, One Big Difference

By Autumn Huggins

At Portland State University this class is committed to bringing environmental issues into the awareness of our readers. We have offered some wonderful information to help aid the average person in the fight to restore and protect the environment. The truth of the matter is, if changes are not made, the future of this planet is bleak.

There are so many ways we can make a difference in the health of the environment and increase our potential to remain able to “live off of the land” for countless generations to come. Simple, inconvenient changes have been offered to you in hopes that you just may adopt these suggestions and make a difference in whatever ways you are able to.

Yes, you can become more mindful of your own impact and make simple changes in your home, shopping life, and commute, for example. These changes are not burdensome and are representative of the minimum things we can all do to take part in our role in keeping our home clean.

Though it has become a political issue which raises much debate and resistance, cleaning up your mess is a basic principle most of us learned as children. As well as, if you want your belongings to last, you cannot trash them.  We may not be in control of the impact others are making, but we can certainly set an example and be mindful of ourselves.

In America, many of us are fortunate to have the problem of having too much waste to discard, or cars that are not “eco-friendly”, or too many water bottles to dump. The fact that we can even choose to buy water, as opposed to turning on our faucet for crystal clear water is incomprehensible to some. It is a humbling thought to think that there are still people living today without the basic privilege of running water in their homes, or even villages.

We hear the stories and our heart strings are pulled, but so often we are able to continue without much thought because we feel like the problems are too big to do anything about.

I was recently at an event in which a person stood up and as her birthday wish, asked for people to donate to a particular charity which puts 100% of the money collected toward bringing safe drinking water to developing countries. The organization is called Charity: Water, found at www.charitywater.org

Apparently using your birthday wish for the charity is one clever idea they came up with as a way to receive donations. As a result of this woman’s birthday wish, many people will not only donate, but they will in turn use their birthday wish and so on.

THIS is how one person can make a difference! A simple gesture with a big impact!

Please also check out our class project website for more ways to get involved and make a difference. Find us at: www.bestuseoftime.weebly.com

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