Severn Suzuki: The Little Girl who Roared

When we were still little, more often than not, we were told that we were too young, too idealistic, too [fill in the blanks] to deal with the harshness of the real world. But then again… if not now, then when? We were also taught not to speak unless spoken too… that adults knew what was best.

I admire the parents of Severn for fostering her environmental and social awareness and raising her to be unafraid to speak her mind. In her speech at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, she blasted the adults, telling them bluntly: “In school you teach us not to fight with others, to work things out, to respect others, to clean up our mess, not to hurt other creatures, to share, not be greedy. Then why do you go out and do the things you tell us not to do? You grownups say you love us, but I challenge you, please, to make your actions reflect your words.” She was only 12.

10 year later, a slightly disillusioned Severn told Time Magazine that “as a young adult, I’m learning that as we have to make choices—education, career, lifestyle—life gets more and more complicated. We are beginning to feel pressure to produce and be successful. We are learning a shortsighted way of looking at the future, focusing on four-year government terms and quarterly business reports. We are taught that economic growth is progress, but we aren’t taught how to pursue a happy, healthy or sustainable way of living. And we are learning that what we wanted for our future when we were 12 was idealistic and naive.”

Can one person make a huge difference? Maybe not. But collectively, maybe we can. I agree that we each have to make an conscious effort to remain connected to the natural world. “Real environmental change depends on us. We can’t wait for our leaders. We have to focus on what our own responsibilities are and how we can make the change happen.

Be the change that you want to see in the world.  Teach your children to be the same.

Related posts:

Love Mother Earth and save money too

We are what we do. Be the change you want to see.

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Love Mother Earth and save money too!

If there is anything positive that came out of the continuing debate on the rising cost of power, it is that the general populace is increasingly aware that our natural resources are finite. It took a major shock to the wallet to do it but at least now more and more people are actively taking money-saving steps to reduce, re-use and re-cycle.

There are many ways that little changes in our daily routines can impact the environment in a big way if only more of us can do them now. Here are just a few:

  • Turn that faucet off! So much water is wasted whenever we leave the faucet while brushing our teeth. Be aware of the amount of water you use.
  • Check your water and electricity meters today. Make sure that all leaks are plugged and that your electric meters are working properly.
  • Buy energy savers. Replace old bulbs with CFLs.
  • Skip the plastic bags. Stuff that newly bought blouse into your uberbag. Reuse the ubiquitous bags you get from the grocery stores.
  • Clean your filters. Have your airconditioners serviced on a regular basis to get rid of the city grime. An oil change will ensure your car runs more efficiently, emitting less pollution while saving you money.
  • Invest in power strips for your computer and other electronic devices. Don’t just leave them on standby, switch them off when you go out. You will not only save money on your utility bills, you’ll leave a smaller footprint on the environment.
  • Love coffee? If you must buy a cuppa (instead of brewing your own in the office) and intend on drinking it in the restau, ask for it to be brewed in a mug. P.S. Bring your own mug to Starbucks and get a small cash rebate. =)

Anyone with more ideas? Please share!

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Earth Day Mission: To Save Paradise

“Don’t It Always Seem To Go That We Don’t Know What We Got Til It’s Gone They Pave Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot.” Joni MitchellApril 22 is the day we renew our commitment to Earth which we should actually be doing everyday. Below is a list of little things (downloading from a WWF-affiliated blog) which we can do for one day to alleviate the pressures we put on our ailing Mother the rest of the year. Heck, try them for at least 20 days so that they can become a habit, an earth-changing lifestyle.

Don’t leave the water running. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth or washing the car. Fresh water is one of our most precious natural resources.

Flick off the light when you leave the room. Power plants burn fuels to create energy for your light bulb. Burning fuel makes carbon dioxide that adds to global warming. The less energy you use the less they need to make, and you’ll save on your energy bill. Makes cents (pun instead).

Print on both sides of the page at work. It’s easy to change your printer settings – you’ll use half the paper and save trees.

Wash your clothes in warm or cold water. It works just as well as hot in your washing machine and cuts back on energy use.

Bring in a glass to keep at work instead of using the paper ones by the water cooler. Did you know that Starbucks will give you a P5 discount if you use a mug instead of their disposable cups?

For every soft-drink bottle recycled, enough energy is conserved to run a television set for an hour and and a half.

Use the right settings on your appliances. Many appliances, like your dishwasher and refrigerator, come with energy-saving settings. Make sure they’re turned on.

Turn off your computer at the end of the day. A monitor left on overnight uses enough energy to print 5,300 copies.

Look at the labels. Take the paper items with the “recycled” emblem over the ones without. Look for the Energy Star symbol when buying new appliances.

Take public transportation whenever possible.

Eat organic, if possible, from your garden. If you don’t have a garden, start one.

Don’t eat sharksfin, Chilean seabass, any reef fish, fish balls (contains shark meat), turtle soup, turtle eggs, dolphin, dugong, Philippine Eagle, Tarsier, Tamaraw, Philippine crocodile, and spread the word.

Try to go vegetarian for one entire day.

Here’s a fun one: go to Youtube and watch Will Ferrel do George Bush on Global Warming

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtfully committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead