• Lizzie Shutt

Live like the Lorax

"I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues. And I'm asking you sir, at the top of my lungs - that thing! That horrible thing that I see! What's that thing you've made out of my truffula tree?"— Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss taught us as kids to respect the Earth’s resources and use our voices to stand up for what we believe in. As a child of the Earth, I speak for the trees, animals, and future generations that don’t have voices. Last Friday evening I stood alongside hundreds of hopeful students, passionate families, and many environmental organizations in front of Gainesville’s city hall. We stood up in the community like millions of others around the world to pressure our politicians and big business to see climate change as a serious problem. Today, Monday September 23rd, world leaders are attending the United Nations Climate Action Summit to create real actionable goals to reduce global emissions by 45% over the next decade and become net zero by 2050. Friday’s climate strike was a demonstration to show our leaders we demand change and we will do everything we can to fight for environmental rights.

The actionable goals discussed will revolve around these six areas: a global transition to renewable energy; sustainable and resilient infrastructures and cities; sustainable agriculture and management of forests and oceans; resilience and adaptation to climate impacts; and alignment of public and private finance with a net zero economy.

This summit is not about blaming or shaming others for what their country is doing wrong, but rather letting these leaders recognize that cooperation and accountability are critical to the success of these international goals. Likewise, with all citizens we, too, can work together and hold each other accountable for our actions. Nobody is perfect, but it feels a lot better when you have a friend doing it by your side. Shoutout to my accountability partner/roomie/bestie @konsciousliving for attending the strike with me!

“Activism works. So what I’m telling you to do now, is to act.”- Greta Thunberg

Actionable Steps:

  • VOTE! Educate yourself about where politicians in your community stand regarding environmental policy.

  • Spark a conversation! Share this message on social media, on lunch break at the office, or at the dinner table.

  • Reduce your environmental footprint: reduce animal products, refuse plastics, pay for quality products from companies who share sustainable practices. Calculate your estimated footprint here and how to save money here!

  • Get Inspired! Follow local organizations or leaders online you align with. South Florida: Wise Tribe Gainesville: Zero Waste Gainesville, Sierra Club

  • Reconnect with the outdoors! The more you connect with the natural world, the easier it will be and the more passionate you will become about protecting ecosystems.

Make your voice heard. Stand for those who breathe toxic air, those who have no choice but to drink contaminated water, those who flee their homes due to rising sea levels, those who are threatened by environmental-related catastrophes that affect food and water supply, and for the indigenous communities whose sacred lands are being destroyed.

Reflect on the words of the Lorax and read the whole story here. “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.”

So from today and going forward make your voice heard and be a leader of change. Read more about the strike and summit going on today!

I loved hearing the "Do It Now" song played by a local at the climate strike.

Listen to the full song here.

"Live Dirty, Eat Clean & Green",

-Lizzie Shutt


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