I formed my strong environmental standpoint through my willingness to be educated and through the world I have seen. Even when my family had to travel across the seas, from the Philippines to America, they managed to provide me with the opportunity to go to school and give me educational advice. With these resources, I found myself passionate for the environment.
As a kid, I disregarded the things I saw daily in the streets of Manila, Philippines. Whenever my parents drove somewhere, looking outside I saw countless amounts of trash dormant in gutters, trees, and highways. I saw puffs of black smoke coming out of the tail of all vehicles. There were billboards scattered around the city, advertising phone companies or brands of milk. Those didn’t seem to matter when I was a kid, but with the education I have now do I realize that these everyday-things were contributing to the degradation of the Earth’s environment. Because it always was never “their litter,” litter is dropped in places and clumps up, mistaken for food by animals. Because a “little” smoke never hurt anyone, engines are left turned on, making it more difficult to breathe. Because money is “never” a bad thing, billboards are displayed for profitable outcomes, which distract people from the real problem: lacking awareness of self-created problems. These problems have prompted me to spark change upon the way that surroundings are left uncared for because they have no physical voice to defend themselves. These problems that existed when I was a kid, still exists today as we continue to be distracted from environmental issues that will affect is in the future.
Through extensive thinking of how these problems started, I am motivated to question why people have the “what’s in it for me?” mentality. From the community in the Philippines to the community in America I live in today, I still see people carry a selfish mentality towards little or big environmental concerns. It is scarce to see anyone do something as simple as discarding school lunches in trash cans, picking up scraps of paper in classrooms, or being compassionate towards school custodians by cleaning after a mess created. People’s lack of actions to contribute towards the well-being of their surroundings, has stimulated me to pursue a college education in environmental science and social ecology. I want to dissect the origin of why people lack the initiative to nurture their surroundings and educate myself of what can be done to improve it through influencing others to see that this planet is worth saving.
I see this world as my home and its inhabitants as people I live with. It is deeply rooted in my conscience to always feel the gumption to do something for this home of mine, despite the tendency for people to neglect their surroundings. Even if the salary of a green career is not as plentiful and rewarding as another, it would not discourage me to pursue a path that values money over the well-being of Earth. It is engrained in my lifestyle to live sustainably by reducing waste and using better alternatives to relieve some of Earth’s exhaustion from degradation. By immersing myself in an education, I am a step closer to becoming a part of the solution: to inform others of the problems that exist, to garner a group of individuals who stand on the same perspective as I do, and to build foundations of sustainability that we all can thrive on. My passion to improve the environment’s health would not only benefit itself, but every person as well. By contributing efforts to preserve Earth’s natural systems, people are able to take advantage of a safer and purer world that won’t have to endure seeing the mass extinction of trees, animals, water, and most importantly, control. By preserving our resources now, we will not have to lose control or engage in wars over it later, when it’s too late.
Some have laughed at me, discouraged me, and even sympathized me for my vision that they think will never come to pass. Their doubts and opposition only empower me to keep moving towards my goal. As long as I remember the world I have seen and continue to live in this world of environmental corruptness, I will always dream to reform the way people think and treat their environment.