Inspiration, Peace Corps

Take Action, Save Our Planet

We need to take action to protect our earth… NOW. In the United States, it is easy for us to ignore climate change because it isn’t so in your face; we’re busy with our daily lives—driving here, driving there—the issue of climate change hasn’t been a top priority. We drink our coffee in to go cups, we throw away food we can’t finish at the restaurant because portions are out of control, and we buy water from plastic bottles when we have drinkable water coming out of our taps.

So why is climate change so obvious to people in countries like Vanuatu where cars, electricity, and running water barely exist? Spending two years on the self-sustaining island of Maewo, I learned how resourceful people can be. Houses are built from bamboo and natangura; gardens are made with traditional irrigation systems, and toys are made out of children’s imaginations.

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A drinkable spring used to bring water to giant water taro gardens
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Using banana leaves to wrap up cabbage
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Drinkable water source
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12-14 year olds making a camping shelter
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Baking with stones and banana leaves

The first year I was on Maewo, the then potential Member of Parliament candidate (and now current MP) came to discuss a project he had of making the island certified organic. He asked me to explain organic to the people of my community and I kind of laughed to myself because the concept of using pesticides and chemicals was so foreign. Organic just is.

Rising sea levels, stronger cyclones, and decreasing access to clean drinking water are real issues people are facing today because countries like ours have lost touch with nature. The actions and choices we make as a country and as individuals MAKE A DIFFERENCE. I’m not saying we need to live in grass huts or anything I’m saying we need to be more aware of our actions.

Making money is a top priority in our lives and that’s how our society has become. As we live our daily lives, we can do small things to help our planet. Bring a Nalgene with you wherever you go, use a mug for your coffee, drink from your cup instead of straws, tell the take out lady not to give you the plastic utensils because you have your own, recycle, turn the tap off when you brush your teeth, if you can’t finish your food save it for later, turn the lights off when you don’t need them, carpool, donate your old clothes, use reusable shopping bags… there are so many ways to make a difference. YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL WILL CREATE CHANGE.

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The executive order which will cut the government’s enforcement of climate regulations is detrimental, backwards, and sad. It is 2017, CLEAN ENERGY is the future. We need to explore options that will keep our environment and our world safe and clean. Solar power is huge in Vanuatu so why hasn’t the “super power” of the world switched over yet?? The United States needs to reevaluate its take on the environment because the whole world is looking right now—let us set a good example and save our environment!

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