My love for the planet started when I was a toddler. My mom works as a horse riding instructor, so I spent a lot of my time on farms. I grew up in New Jersey which allowed me to see how well adapted animals were to all four seasons. I didn’t start to realize there was an issue with the climate until I went to the movies for my 9th birthday. A trailer came on talking about how the ice was melting in the arctic and polar bears were dying. I was shocked. The polar bears on the screen looked so thin, fragile, and in pain. I had never seen anything like it. This ignited a spark within me. I began asking questions, conducting my own research, and helping in whatever way I could. I didn’t actually start to understand it all until about 7th grade. But, I found that the industrial and wasteful systems humans had implemented were destroying the natural environment. We were dumping trash in oceans, polluting the air with toxic chemicals, and ultimately causing the climate to drastically change. These acts led to the death of many animals and ecosystems.
Just last year I visited my friend’s family in Texas, where her grandpa cared for dozens of cows. I was devastated to hear recently that a lot of them didn’t make it through the brutally hot summer. This was just further proof that we as a society need to change our ways if we want to tackle climate change and environmental deterioration. I was really excited to attend Champlain since it emphasized the importance of sustainable practices. I am grateful that a large institution has taken responsibility for its part in climate change. I am excited to have the opportunity to constantly learn more eco-friendly practices from peers and guest speakers in my eco-rep position. I think if the world as a whole could accept these practices, we could ensure the safety of so many beloved species and the Earth as a whole. “We should preserve every scrap of biodiversity as priceless while we learn to use it and come to understand what it means to humanity.” – EO Wilson.
Written by Lily Corso, March 2023