Picture this: Your feet softly tickled by grass between your toes. The damp, green blades shepherd your foot-paws towards the beach. The saltwater breeze tickles your nose; you know you must be close to the salty sea, where you will immerse yourself, play and float the day away. This is a familiar feeling for many of us Australian sun and beach babies. It has always felt like that, ever since I can remember, anyone can remember. It will always feel like that. Or so you hope. You hope your kids and their kids will enjoy that feeling. Being out and at one with nature. Something we are so lucky to have always had; we take for granted. Yet we all listen to the news and know of the threat that mankind holds over the earth.
We have said this before and will say again; covid has brought many changes. We have stopped and slowed down. For good and for bad, we have eased our burden on the planet. The flowers are blooming (in season), the birds are singing. Venice’s canals are running clear for the first time in decades. Residents in northern India have had their stunning landscapes blinded by air pollution for years and are now able to see the Himalaya Mountains once again. Our footprint is softening.
Many of us talk about a return to a new normal. A return where we take these lessons that we have learned to keep the good going. I am truly hope accidentally forged.
Prior to covid, I heard many people excuse themselves for the global environment issues by saying things like: “the damage has been done, so what can we do now?” or “I want to help, but one person is not enough to make the change”. It’s true, the impact that we humans have had on the environment has been huge, and one person alone cannot flip the switch. But if each person shifts just a little bit here and a little bit there, change would be seen. Something that once seemed so distant and impossible, really isn’t that impossible at all. 2020 has proven that.
Once a year, the world and all its billions of people come together to do their little bit. And even during lockdowns (Hey, hi, we are in Melbourne – stage 4 lockdown!), when you are out for a walk this weekend, take a bag or a bucket or whatever vessel you fancy and slip on those rubber gloves. Reusable coffee cup in hand, look down and pick up rubbish on your path, in the parks, on the nature strip, in waterways and canals. Do this with family, friends, loved ones. Make it time shared and time well spent. I’ll be venturing out with our little Etta today and will be on the hunt for garbage treasure. I hope you take time to enjoy this weekend and most importantly, enjoy this beautiful planet we are so privileged to call home.
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