In “Lost winter: A season on thin ice is a bad time for poutine,” (Ideas), George Rogers writes about how, as the winter months grow milder, so does his love for gravy-and-cheese-ladened fries. However, poutine isn’t the only thing we’ll miss if our winters keep getting milder. Days at the beach, weekends on the slopes, and spring mornings with birds chirping are all events we take for granted. But if a healthy climate fosters these wonderful occurrences, our actions are to blame for losing them.
As a public health student and member of an international nonprofit focused on combatting climate change, I strive to spread awareness about protecting the only planet we’ve got. Therefore, as Earth Day approaches, let’s focus not so much on what we’re losing but on what we can gain if we start right now and play our part to prevent further destruction. Picking up litter; turning off unattended lights and water; holding local, state, and federal leaders accountable to enact environmentally conscious policies; and listening to the communities most impacted by climate change all make a difference. And if we play our part to keep our planet safe, who knows — maybe more poutine is in our future.
The writer is a master of public health student at the Boston University School of Public Health and a member of the associate board of Health in Harmony, an international nongovernmental organization dedicated to combatting climate change.