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  • Writer's pictureArielle Kouyoumdjian

Advice for Change Makers

Stay hopeful, but not too hopeful. Stay frightened, but not paralyzed. Passivity is the worst crime. Your voice is more powerful than you think it is, and our voices are the most impactful when we speak up together. I want my peers to assert themselves when they see room for growth in sustainability. Contrary to what we’ve been taught, sometimes we need to push back against adults–email the head of school about your idea for implementing solar panels; teach your dad about reducing food waste as he prepares a meal; show your grandmother what she can recycle; talk about politics at the dinner table! The facts of climate change are disturbing, but our society has made progress. It’s not too late, but we have to act now. And even the smallest actions count. Left unfettered, the ripples of climate change today will gather the momentum of the tsunamis that ravage our society 200 years from now. Even the smallest actions have an impact that span the dimensions of space and time.

Therefore, collective sustainability efforts here can snowball into change-making movements everywhere. Mitigating emissions in a small Virginia suburb can ever-so-slightly reduce impacts on glaciers in the arctic circle, island communities in the Pacific, deserts in West Africa. And if the difference you make seems negligible, just remember that a mere 2 degree Celsius increase in global temperature is a death sentence for nearly every glacier in Iceland.

We’re talking small numbers, big impacts. What if small efforts lead to big impacts? Climate change is a global crisis, which also means it’s a global fight. So no matter where you are in the world, how old you are, how loud your voice is, speak up, push back, and keep going.

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