We hear a lot these days about how bad the environment is getting. Sometimes it can feel like it’s all so overwhelming that nothing I can do will matter, that nothing I can do will end up making enough of a difference to really help—but that simply isn’t true!
Good old Mother Earth appreciates every little bit that each one of us does to help make the air better to breathe, to help make the waters better for drinking and swimming, and to help make our forests and farmlands safer and cleaner.
It was our own children who helped my wife and I understand this. Almost fifteen years ago our sons were very upset about pollution—particularly about how much bad stuff regular cars spit out into the air. We told them that good people all over the world were really working hard to make things better, and our oldest son said, “Yeah, but what are you doing?”
We needed a new car at that time, so in 2001 my wife and I traded in our old minivan and bought one of the first hybrid cars ever available in the United States—a car which traveled three times farther on one gallon of gas than the minivan had! We saved money, and our driving put much, much less pollution into the air. Since then, we have bought only hybrid cars.
Another even simpler thing our family did about fifteen years ago was to get serious about recycling paper and glass and metal. All it took was setting up some bins in our garage. And since then I know we have kept many, many tons of waste from being dumped into landfills and incinerators.
So the next time you feel like you can’t do anything to help the Earth out, think again. I know you’ll be able to find new and interesting ways to use less energy, conserve water, and keep the air cleaner. And remember, every little bit truly helps!
Andrew Clements is the author of more than 75 books for young readers. His incredibly popular title Frindle has garnered 16 state book awards, sold over 2.5 million copies, and been translated into several languages. Learn more at www.andrewclements.com.