#DoOneThingToday to Change the World
Judie Stilman March 2, 2021
#DoOneThingToday to support wildlife
March 3rd is World Wildlife Day. This year’s theme is #DoOneThingToday to support forest communities and forest wildlife. That seems easy enough. But what would it take to #DoOneThing-EveryDay, and actually change the world?
Do you remember the first time you walked through a forest? Swam in the ocean? Or saw an animal in the wild? Close your eyes and imagine the excitement and wonder you felt. Recall the way your senses came alive. And the moment the oneness of all living things came into focus.
Although we may recognize our connection with the world around us, we can also feel small and insignificant in relation to the grandeur of nature. How could our individual choices and actions impact something so vast and seemingly infinite? The truth is, it’s not only what we do individually. It’s what we do collectively as a society, that changes the course of history and our planet.
Nurturing a conservation mindset
When it comes to a massive issue like environmental conservation, how does one person make a difference? And how can we influence others? To better understand what it means to live in harmony with the natural world, I spoke to my friend, and wildlife advocate, Carlo Treviso. He explained, “A proper conservation mindset allows for the ethical use of natural resources for the betterment of humankind, as long as they are properly cared for and managed with a concern for future generations.”
Carlo went on to say, “It is permissible to responsibly utilize trees for wood, for example, as long as new trees are planted in their place. Similarly, wildlife such as fish populations can be harvested as long as they are monitored and left in sufficient numbers to ensure future populations. Science can also help us better harness natural sources of power such as the sun, wind, and other forms of clean energy.”
Carlo emphasized the consequences of ignoring our interdependence on nature. “Humans are increasingly influencing the climate and the earth’s temperature by burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas), cutting down forests, and over-farming livestock and produce.”
In fact, a shift in human behavior can dramatically affect our planet. One clear example came early in the coronavirus ‘stay-at-home’ orders. In a matter of months, Space.com recorded a significant drop in air pollution due to the dramatic reduction of fossil fuel usage globally.
Planting Seeds for the Future
On his own journey to becoming a conservation activist, Carlo shares a story from his childhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “At 9 years old I planted a pine tree in my family’s front yard. At that time, the local Department of Natural Resources was providing thousands of free tree seedlings to fourth-graders. This was to teach them about the importance of trees in our environment.” Carlo remembers, “When my family moved away a few years later, I had a hard time leaving my tree. My uncle John—an accomplished conservationist, astronomer, mariner, ornithologist, volunteer firefighter—told me, ‘Remember that our society grows great when people like you plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit under.’ Sometimes simply planting the seed for the future is a noble act in and of itself.”
How One Person Makes A Difference
Carlo is just one person. Conservation is his passion, not his profession. He also works full time as a producer at an ad agency in Chicago. But he believes that one person can make a difference, and that our individual choices matter. Carlo lobbied Congress with a group from World Wildlife Fund to increase funding for conservation programs. Carlo suggests there’s another way we can all be part of the effort to protect wildlife and the environment. It is simply exercising our right to vote. We can support candidates and policies that prioritize environmental responsibility.
Everyday choices change the world
Additionally, there are countless ways our everyday choices can make a difference. For example, we can choose to walk or use mass transit rather than drive. We can be mindful to reduce, reuse and recycle instead of tossing things into the trash. And we can eat more plants, less meat, and waste less food.
We can also support nonprofits that work to advance wildlife conservation. Coin Up App has over two dozen pre-vetted charities dedicated to protecting wildlife and healing the planet. With small monthly donations of your digital spare change, you can join with others and do your part to change the world.
The bottom line is this, let’s all #DoOneThingToday to impact our planet in a positive way. Then, let’s keep it going. We can talk with our families, friends, and colleagues about how we can give back to the natural world. Let’s preserve and protect the wildlife that sustains and inspires us every day.