Caring For The Environment

Sophia Zhong (9 years old)

May 31, 2016

          Isn’t it a sunny, warm morning outside?  What if it was foggy all the time, and the air smelled like smoke.  What if seeing blue skies and catching a glimpse of the sun was a rare treat?  Would you like that?  Believe it or not, there are some places in China where every single day is like that.  The Chinese are working hard to save their air, but here in the US, we can avoid that.  Just like your room, it’s best not to get our Earth cluttered in the first place. We Americans decided to take the first step to a MOSTLY clean country when President Theodore Roosevelt created out country’s national parks.

          On May 15, 1903, President Roosevelt began a three day camping trip with naturalist John Muir to a place Muir thought was the loveliest place on Earth – Yosemite!  Muir was the one who convinced Roosevelt to start the chain of national parks.

          I found some quotes that I really like.  They motivated me to do my part in helping the world BE clean and STAY clean.  I hope they will do the same for you, and always remember: you don’t have to be big or famous to make a difference.

          “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” – John MuirI think he means that everybody needs beauty in their lives, a place where they can be themselves.

          Henry David Thoreau, an author and naturalist, once said, “If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.”  Thoreau disagreed with that.  He thought if a man wanders the woods, it means he appreciates the wonder around him.  If he destroys those woods, it means he cares nothing for beauty and has his sights set only on making money.

          An actress named Ellen DeGenerous also shared her feelings.  She said, “If we’re destroying our trees and destroying our environment and hurting our animals and hurting one another and all that stuff, there’s got to be a very powerful energy to fight that. I think we need more love in the world. We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, and more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that.” We’re destroying ourselves by destroying the environment.  We have the nature around us to live.  We need to reach down inside us and find that energy to fight those people who dream of a totally industrious world.  You would do that, wouldn’t you?

          We often don’t think that we can do anything.  You can think that, but if you say “I can’t do anything” and then throw stuff on the ground, that’s not right.  Besides, you can do something.  You can pick up litter on the ground, even if it’s not yours.  If you see someone throw trash, tell them that they’re littering.  Don’t just stand there and gawk!

         We, humans are polluting everywhere.  If not for some people fighting pollution, no animals would exist.  In fact, many of our animal friends have gone forever.  I wrote a poem called “Mother Earth.” I would like to share it with you.

Elephants, zebras,
Big and small.
Mother Earth
Made us all.

We, the smartest,
Must follow her will.
We, the strongest,
Must try NOT to kill.

She looks down upon us.
A frown, she's sad.
Help her NOW!
Don't make her mad.

She must wait and wait
For us to change.
Reward her now,
Let her rate
Who we truly are.

          I would like to give each of you a challenge today: pick up every single piece of trash you see, even if it’s not yours.  We can make a difference, and let's prove it.  Thank you!