This I Believe

Felipe - Houston, Texas
Entered on February 27, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: environment

I live in the fourth largest city in the United States. I do my part to save the earth by recycling, enjoying the wilderness, keeping it cleaner than I found it, and most importantly by not wasting valuable resources we need. I have seen some of the most beautiful places in the United States and New Zealand. I have seen the Glaciers of Montana, and I cannot fathom the fact that years from now the twenty-seven glaciers that are left will be gone. It is heartbreaking to know that in a few years, the few remaining glaciers that I saw when I was sixteen will not be there for my children. The cause: lack of care for our environment; this I believe.

The countless hours I have spent on the trail with a 20-pound pack does not compensate for the past 100 years of environmental abuse. Every time I have gone camping deep in the woods, whether it be at small Turkey Creek or deep inside the New Zealand bush, I have always left the campsite better than I have found it. I can still remember the sight of the first campsite I had been to. The place: a campsite at Yosemite National Park. A busy spring weekend led a few spring breakers to the park. Loud, messy, and inconsiderate would describe them. What would have been a great peaceful weekend was ruined by the obnoxious actions of our neighbors. As my brothers and I hiked, I started noticing gum wrappers on the floor, toilet paper, and other waste along side the trailhead. I took it upon myself to clean it up. From picking up the gum wrappers to the used toilet paper. I carried the wrappers and non eco-friendly waste, and I buried the toilet paper in a four to six inch hole. Those spring breakers showed me how much people really care for our environment. It made me think of the progress that people have done to make our environment better; this progress is being thrown away by small uncaring actions of our world.

The lack of care to our environment ranges from combustion of fossil fuels, water pollution, deforestation, to our every day lives such as not recycling. The same outdoors I have fallen in love with has made me hate it even more. I think to myself maybe if it is all destroyed maybe— maybe then will mankind take note of the importance of Mother Nature. And maybe then mankind will do something to protect our beautiful environment. If the world can come together in a time of crisis, we can come together and realize that our earth is dying slowly, this I believe.