This I Believe

Katherine - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: environment

I believe in the little things that make a difference. I believe we can save the world by doing what is expected. If we each do a little something to help out, we can make a difference. This I believe.

The world is covered in water, yet Georgia has been in a severe drought for the past three months. Lake houses sit vacant because the lake is gone. Officials tell us we will be out of water in the soon if nothing is done. These facts don’t faze many people. The mansions still run their sprinklers ever morning to keep their lush grasses green, and here the rest of us save every drop possible. At first, my conservation method seemed tedious and bothersome, but today I do not dwell on it; I just do it. I turn off the faucet when I brush my teeth. I survive the cold shower so I don’t waste water just because icy water can be uncomfortable at 6:30 AM. These efforts may not put a drop back in the lake, but I see the difference I am making. Our family water bill dropped thirty percent in the last few months. If more households practiced conservation methods, pontoons might float on water instead of mud.

Saving water can save people and the environment. Other smaller things can just help a few people, but it still makes a difference. When I was younger, my mom had to call around to the other neighbors and ask, “How do you get gum out of hair?” After deciding on peanut butter, she gooped it on my hair and tugged on the wad of Big Red twisted in my hair. I sat with the stench of the PB & J sandwich I had for lunch. If people would just throw out their chewing gum, smacking gum at school would no longer be taboo because the gum would always land in the trashcan, not under the chair. I could use the water fountains in front of the hallway bathrooms because the left one would never have wads of juicy fruit in it. What a difference those little trips to the trash can could make.

Throwing away gum can be the most challenging action of the day when laziness sets in. What difference does it make? It makes a difference to the person who steps on it when it falls to the ground. It makes a difference to the kid assigned to scrape it off the desk. It makes a difference to the custodians who have to spend extra time at work when they could be home with their families. Walking to the trashcan could have made a difference.

I believe in throwing away gum and conserving water. I believe that going out of my way will help me and those around me. I will continue to do the little things even if no one else does because one person’s actions, my actions, will make a difference.