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Nature nurture

I work at the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center, CHEC, and through years of conservation I’ve learned several universal truths. The first of which, is that nature is not separate from home. Somehow, we’ve been made to think that Nature is other. It’s not. Nature is your yard. It’s your commute. It’s the undeveloped lot down the road. Nature is your home. The whole world is nature, we’ve just decorated it with a bunch of roads and condos. It’s still our garden, no matter what we do with it.

Truth number two, apathy is the enemy. The environment is too big, it’s too far gone, the solution is someone else's responsibility. Yes and no. You can not fix the environment, not by yourself, but you’re not by yourself. Everyday, people are making changes to their lifestyles, their consumption, where they spend their dollars. Rather than become apathetic, or put-off by the scale of changing the world’s environment, focus on your personal decisions. I advocate for small improvements that we can maintain over time.

The last truth is that it’s not to late. It feels like it because every news story tells of cataclysmic change if we pass xyz threshold, and then we pass it. It will never be too late for you to make improvements, ever. The environment will change in your lifetime, and not for the better, but it’s still yours and you still want to live there. Your actions aren’t meaningless, they are not inconsequential, they are merely small. People will see your actions, and they may adopt new behaviors too. It is only through modeling new behaviors that we can change the cultural norm from apathy to invested. Nature is yours; it belongs to you. If it’s not perfect, it's still yours. We don’t move out of our homes when the living room gets messy, we clean it. We organize, we improve, we create chores.

Make one decision today that reduces waste, improves efficiency, conserves, or creates habitat space. This is what change looks like.

Michael Bednar


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