Photographer: Wim Vandenbussche
The Earth is our field; we’re just growing in it.
Nature is our resource; we’re just using it.
Time creates an experience; we’re just living it.
Growing up, I always felt connected with nature and everything around me. Ever since I was a young girl, I could spend hours listening to the rain, observing animals, or just running around in the woods. I found myself focused on the present.
One of the most important people in my life taught me to find myself in the world around me.
Every summer, I visit my grandfather in Ely, Minnesota—a typical small town in the middle of nowhere with no service. But, it always felt like so much more than that: my home away from home.
My grandfather, Dr. Lynn Rogers, has been one of my greatest teachers, and I’m forever grateful. Long ago during one summer that moved too quickly, I went camping near my grandfather’s cabin. He had come over to visit my family and me at our remote campsite. He and I sat outside the trailer and just listened.
We listened to the birds calling to each other. We listened to the stream nearby slowly tracing the forest ground. We listened to the trees as their branches swayed in the slight breeze.
My grandfather always played a huge part in my love for animals and plants. He taught me all about respect for the things we are surrounded by, he taught me how to find happiness in the littlest of things, and he taught me to be brave when I’m in scary situations.
I feel connected with the environment and our Earth as a whole. Words could never explain the value of this feeling, but somehow my grandfather taught me with single memories.
The combination of respect for our planet and the complete awe I feel is overpowering and impacts my soul in unexplainable ways.
My views on the world that we live in eventually changed my views on humanity, as well. Our time on Earth is short and shouldn’t be put to waste destroying our home.
Eight million tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans every year.
More than fifteen billion trees are cut down, due to deforestation, every year.
These two facts are just snippets of the major problems that our world is facing. Our world is beautiful, which I have learned, but I also realize our world is hurting. It is our job to save the environment.
Organizations are doing just that: saving our environment. 4ocean is one of the organizations helping to clean our oceans. Each purchase of a 4ocean product pulls one pound of trash from the ocean. As of right now, more than seven million pounds have been cleaned up, starting in only 2017.
Amazon Watch is a non-profit organization working to protect rainforests in the Amazon basin. Their website is filled with news about the indigenous people and the rainforests in the Amazon, but it also has pledges to sign to get involved.
So many groups of people, or even individuals, feel obligated to save our planet. Their small or large actions all have major effects. If we all work together towards our goal of saving Earth, we can get there quickly and efficiently.
I feel this deep-rooted connection with nature, and there are so many other people like me trying to save our planet for as long as we walk this Earth.