Future generations depend upon the environmental decisions we make right now. I grew up in rural Lane County, where I was able to swim in the Fern Ridge Reservoir, play in the forests and fields, and thrive outside. I want my four-year-old daughter to enjoy the same outdoors that I did, and that means that our generation needs to work as hard as we can to slow down and reverse the devastating environmental changes we have seen.
We cannot ignore the facts of science. Humans are causing climate change to happen at a rapid pace. Just this year we have seen record hurricanes, forest fires, temperatures, and drought. It is critical that the decisions we make on a local level reflect the seriousness of climate change. We can support environmental stewardship through education, responsibly evaluating and managing our resources, incentivize renewable energy options, attracting new energy manufacturing jobs to Lane County, and expanding diversion and recycling efforts.
My work at St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, Inc. has allowed me to be involved in the creation of sustainable, low barrier jobs while cleaning up and supporting our natural environment. Diverting recyclable or reusable materials from landfills is something tangible that we all can do on an individual level to keep vast amounts of reusable product from our waste streams. We have limited space to deal with waste and with plastics increasingly difficult to recycle abroad it will quickly fill up our landfills. It is essential that we rethink how we are going to deal with this product locally. There are a lot of reusable products that can be reused and repurposed yet are thrown away. I want to rethink what we allow in our landfills and how we can incentivize their reuse which can in turn inspire business opportunities locally.
It is on all of us to work our hardest for future generations and the world we want to leave them.