What are we doing to fix it? Sometimes it seems as though the world is too far gone, too broken, to be fixed. We could just give up. But then what’s the point of anything if we just give up on our planet now?
We all must be stewards of the Earth.
There are so many ways in our day to day life that we can positively impact the world around us. But being a steward of the Earth requires a bit more thought than mere habit.
We already collect rain water for the garden, turn off the faucet when not actively using water. We throw things in the trash, not on the ground. We reuse items as much as possible. (Who needs sand bucket when there’s a dozen large yogurt containers in the cupboard?) These are all ways we lessen our impact on the environment. But they’re also things that don’t involve stepping out of the comfort of our lives.
Today we donned gloves and brought our grabber thingy down to our local pond so we could clean things up a bit.
I have to admit, it was worse than I expected. We’d already cleaned some stuff up other days. And from the walking path the pond looks amazing. But once we got closer, the reality sunk in.
There was so much plastic in the water. Styrofoam all over the place. Balloons floating among the reeds and stuck in the mud.
As we pulled things out of the water, the stench was horrible! So many things blocked the water from flowing. Bags trapped small fish and other pond life, killing them. Everything was coated in a thick black sludge that had all of us gagging.
After about an hour we all felt a little disheartened by how extensive the mess was in our pond. After two hours we felt the need to stop. We’d only managed to get the shore of about 1/4 of the pond. We didn’t even cover the fields at all.
But even as we were faced with so much garbage, there was beauty too. A mama duck was out with her new hatchlings. A flock of pelicans came to visit our pond for the third week in row. Wildflowers bloomed, and feathers from various birds decorated the ground.
In an effort to encourage our children to be Stewards of the Earth, we want them to see the importance of making time to help the planet, but we also want them to see it as enjoyable and fun. We laughed while we cleaned up, we had fun seeing who could find the strangest items (I found a bubble wand with a 3 inch tall bunny on top, Ryan and Ella each found half a spiderman frisbee, Agatha found a ball, Brom found micro pieces of plastic, and Cordelia found leeches on a chip bag). In the end, we collected 2 huge industrial sized trash bags full of garbage, a smaller kitchen bag full, as well as metal fascia from a nearby house construction site.
Everyone enjoyed themselves and felt like we’d made a difference. Next week we’ll head back out and clean up more of the pond. And again the week after that if need be. Today we made a difference, even if it was only to the ducks in our pond, it was a difference that our children are proud of.