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Charlotte 's Letter
To my babies ,
You've grown so fast, and I hope you love this planet and its beautiful natural environments and wondrous wildlife as much as I do; as much as you did when I could still legitimately call you my babies. You're 8 and 13 now, so you're old enough to know about the mess we've made of the place. I hope that I've taught you to tread lightly on the world. I've done what I can to teach you to value and protect this planet, but I'm afraid that it won't have been enough.
I'm disheartened. It feels like my actions are so small. I try to stay plastic free, but so many of our goods are swaddled in pointless plastic that it feels impossible (bananas in a handy plastic wrapping anyone? Cellophaned cucumber maybe?). I know plenty of others don't even try to avoid the plastic, through lack of money or time or thought or whatever. I try to walk instead of take the car, but I watch my neighbours jump in their vehicles and drive the minute-and-a-half journey to the gym. I turn off lights and try to boil just as much water as I need to limit energy consumption, but I walk into supermarkets and see ridiculous open freezers using up all that energy just fighting to keep food frozen because opening a freezer door would be too big an inconvenience for paying customers. I see a system that is set up to value endless, boundless, glorious growth, at the cost of our planet and the lives of our future babies. Because on our current path... Sure, the shareholders of the fossil fuel companies will be rich, but this Earth will be uninhabitable.
I worry that I'm not preparing you for the future. School, and swimming lessons and play dates and social niceties: will this be needed where we're heading? Climate collapse will bring mass migration and famine and poverty and war and societal collapse. How do I prepare you for that?
All I can do is hope and hope and pray to all the gods that I don't believe in that you will be able to find a way to protect this planet to the best of your abilities. I desperately hope that governments will have woken up and made the changes that we need to see, before it's too late. Otherwise, I encourage you to disobey. Do what you can to make your voice heard and tell those in power that we cannot go on this way. Be the change, my beautiful babies.
The Great Big Green Week is the UK’s biggest ever celebration of community action to tackle climate change. Find out how you can get involved.