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One small thing you can do for the environment: be inspired

Welcome to “One small thing …”. We asked our authors what one small thing they, or you, could do for the environment. We’ll bring their answers to you on Friday afternoons. Today’s one small thing comes…

The environment: get out into it. jcolman/Flickr

Welcome to “One small thing …”. We asked our authors what one small thing they, or you, could do for the environment. We’ll bring their answers to you on Friday afternoons.

Today’s one small thing comes from Jessica Drake, a PhD scholar at the ANU.

What is the one small thing you can do for the environment? So many possibilities flashed through my head.

As a soil scientist, I would focus on research to enhance natural water and nutrient cycling so we can grow more organic food.

As a mining researcher, I would focus on ways to turn a former gold mine into a forest.

As an environmental blogger, I would focus on ways to use social media to communicate environmental science.

There are so many important environmental issues, that it is really hard to choose just one thing to focus on.

How do I choose?

I took a step back, and thought about my childhood. Walking in Dorrigo National Park, racing my sister over the board walk, identifying birds from their calls. And giggling as we walked underneath the Crystal Shower Falls.

Science stayed my favourite subject because of that fun: in the bush, on friends' farms, in my own backyard.

I remember spending hours a week in the school agriculture block - learning about soil, growing food and organic agriculture.

In later high school years, amazing and inspiring teachers taught me geology, genetics, biology and environmental science.

Experiences from my childhood inspired me to understand and care for the environment. So, I realised what I would do: inspire people to learn, study, understand and care for the environment.

I want to enable people to work towards a positive environmental, social and economically sustainable future for us all.

Join the conversation

1 Comment sorted by

  1. Dale Bloom

    Analyst

    This topic is an excellent idea.

    However, I am uncertain that education is playing much part in improving the environment.

    I have recently seen a new school built. A wetlands area was filled in to make part of the sports oval. There was not one solar panel installed on any roof, and the school buildings are sealed boxes with energy hungry air-conditioning systems hanging from the walls. There has not been one shrub or tree planted in the school.

    The school is an environmental black hole, and many, if not most, other schools and universities are similar.

    It becomes unlikely that effective education of students about environmental issues can occur in such schools and universities.

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