The Lorax and me | My Earth Changing Moment

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Rhonda
Dasher

Omak, Washington


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The Lorax and me

  As a child I lived in the Northwest, full of forests, rivers, animals and garbage. In the last 1960's- early 70's people were learning more about the dangers of pollutants in the environment. I read The Lorax, by Dr Seuss, who was a forward thinker and helped me realize how new processes can create new issues in nature.

  My third grade science project showed the importance of keeping pollution out of the water, air and wild spaces. I also had my family help me pick up bottles and garbage left by motorists alongside of the road. The money from the bottle deposits helped me pay for the fees to get rid of the garbage.

  Because my famiy did a lot of hiking, camping, and fishing, we spent lots of time in the natural setting and I made it a point to pick up garbage when we saw it left in the woods or on the beach. I know that I can't control anyone's actions but mine. I have to do what is important to me and many times, it leads to an opportunity to influence other people to modify their lifestyle.

  I have a passion for protecting our natural resources and I couldn't Identify it until I read The Lorax. It was a moment that I always refer to because it helped me understand more about who I am as a person. The passion for this earth will be with me forever, until I die and become part of the earth.

  I have worked in natural resources my whole life and I am currently developing climate change plans and education activities to help people understand how we all contribute to the health of our planet and we can't leave it to someone else. We all have to find our inner Lorax and help protect our natural resources for future generations!

I am an informal educator and use hands on experiences to help people of all ages learm the importance of minimizing our impact.  If we all do something, like walking or riding a bike instead of driving or used reusable shopping bags instead of plastic or paper bags, it can have a greater impact.

  My life goal is to educate as many people as possible about how to be a conscientious human and respect the other plants and animals that we share this world with. Everything is connected; that is how a sea turtle can become entangled in a mass of plastic in the ocean.

 If people get a six pack of drinks, what happens to the plastic holder? It is thrown into the garbage or some people throw it on the ground or in the water. Some cities on the East Coast dump their trash into the ocean; out of site out of trouble? Those pesky plastic connectors that find their way to the ocean float around and can end up on seal pups or sea otters, fish, birds, and yes even sea turtles.

 I have seen fish that have plastic can holders embedded in their body. They got entangled as a juvenile and as they grew, their body grew over the plastic. It is so sad to see and I still cry when I find something like that because it should never have happened. We all have the power to make personal choices in our lives. We all need to think about how our choices can affect people, places and things around the world because this planet is large but the water and air that circulates around it can transport many toxins and pollution that affect other countries.

 The Lorax spoke for the trees and the water and the animals that could not speak for themselves. He tried to help people understand that whatever new trend  comes along that people think they just have to have can have long reaching consequences on natural resources, people and places. We are a global community and we need to respect the connectivity of all that we do. A demand for ivory jewelry and carvings has once again increased poaching of elephants in Africa. Rhino horn, believed by some to be a supplement for sexual performance has caused many reserves to cut the horns from their rhinos to keep them alive.

  It is easy to look at a leopard fur coat and appreciate the beauty but the animal that gave its life for that was not treated with respect. Poachers in Africa make very little for every animal they kill. Smugglers that bring those products to market don't get paid that much either because most of those people live in third world countries and struggle to survive and are willing to do whatever it takes to make money for their family.

  I learned about the importance of respecting the earth early but it is never to late to start living in a thoughtful way. You may not hear it when you haul your groceries to your car in a reusable bag but there is a collective "thank you" for doing a thoughtful thing. Pass it on!