“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing going to get better. It’s not.” – The Lorax
These two simple sentences, spoken by a fuzzy fictional critter, capture what I believe to be the guiding principle of my journey in environmental advocacy. Our choices define us, shape our communities, and in turn create opportunity for positive change. Our collective choices have the ability to generate innovative solutions for the environmental and social challenges we face as a global society. It all starts with one small seed.
A seed can come in the form of a choice – choosing to say no to fossil fuels as an institution, or choosing to walk rather than drive. A seed can be an idea waiting for some sunshine and rain showers before it can fully blossom. A seed can be the passion of one individual that catches with the wind, spreading hope and inspiration throughout our communities.
A seed can be just that – a seed. With a little bit of care, a seed sowed in fertile soil can grow into much more.
I live in the heart of New York City, where urban dwellers flock to the city parks to pause from the bustling rhythms of the city and rejuvenate in green space. I never thought I would live here but life has a funny way of throwing curves in the path that we can’t anticipate. When I moved here, I made a choice to grow an edible garden – though space was certainly not abound and growing vegetables along a street in the Upper West Side was not exactly a common scenario. I discovered that the small patch of soil in front of our apartment building, that once housed some ornamental plants, was to go uncared for over the summer months. With the green light from our landlord, I cleared the plot of weeds, cleaned up the scattered pieces of litter, tilled the soil, and planted some seedlings.
In my first day as a gardener I met five neighbors I had never encountered before. They paused mid-stride to appreciate the pink hues of a small swiss chard plant, the fragrance of basil and sage… and they wanted to take part, to help care for the garden in their own way.
I have seen this 5×2 foot plot bring together a community and change minds. What if we each chose to plant a seed? What if we each chose to take action on climate change? What if we each chose to actively be mindful of our fellow citizens?
What if we each chose to care a whole awful lot?
With this ClimateSelfie, I choose to harvest hope, grow global awareness and cultivate community. It all starts with one small seed.- Kelly McGlinchey, 24, USA