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Dear future planet,

Hi there. I hope you are in good enough shape to read this. The future looks tough for you, and I am to blame. I hope that when this is read humans will have taken some action to make sure you can get through this. I am sure you miss your many babies: so many species and landmarks that are probably gone! And you did nothing but give us all you had. You don’t deserve this.

I think about these issues a lot. I constantly try to come up with ways to reduce our carbon footprint, but sadly end up frustrated and disappointed. Honestly, I am (more than) a bit pessimistic about where we are headed. Anyway, because I know nothing in comparison to what there is to learn, I just took up environmental sciences last year. Hopefully with a bit more knowledge I can come up with slightly better solutions. I have no doubt about global warming and climate change being real. The only thing I really do question is whether we can still do something about it.

As you know, I have tried to help you out in many ways. Small actions that I hope mean something. I learned how to make my own soap and shampoo, toothpaste and detergent. I stopped eating meat and avoid using plastic. I got rid of my car, and walk twice as long in order to buy bulk or local. I switched energy providers so that 100% of the energy is renewable, and I changed my bank to a more ethical and environmentally-friendly one. I try to buy organic, and reduce what I do buy. I don’t go shopping anymore, unless I really need it. I reuse everything as much as I can before recycling, and I unplug things when not in use. I stopped buying bottled water and changed to filters. At work we changed the coffee machine, printer, paper, electricity, etc. But it’s never enough.

It is really hard for me to do more. Society has a way of making it difficult for you if you don’t follow their standards… and as a small company owner it’s very hard. Added to that, I don’t have a lot of money, nor do I have too much time.

For the past few years I have done some research. My partner and I have gone through different stages of awareness. Generally this is related to how much money or free time we have. We are actively trying to find new ways, small changes we can make to actively contribute. As a teacher, I sometimes find myself talking to students about this issue, but it is still a delicate topic. Most people here in Europe do agree on it being real, but barely any action is taken. Many times have I been called a hypocrite for talking about my beliefs (and then owning a school, for example). And up to a certain point it’s true, but I still need to survive. It’s a sad and difficult moment. I don’t mean to pry into anyone’s business, but then again I feel guilty if I don’t tell all those around me how bad the situation already is.

For now I will continue to learn and apply small changes to my lifestyle. But I have a lot more in mind. I will continue to be optimistic about humanity, and will keep doing my part, even if it is insignificant. I will do as much as I can and invest even more energy in finding out better ways to help. Hopefully in a few years I will have been able to reduce my yearly carbon footprint to practically zero.

If you are reading this, remember the world is made up of people. You are one of them. Industry is made up of people. If every person changed, the problem would disappear. Do you really feel that great with your lifestyle? Is it worth it? Take a second to picture the consequences.

What does money and inheritance and future mean if there is no planet? Your social and economic position mean nothing in the face of a catastrophe. It is happening already, you just need to open your eyes.

It may be too late, but if we keep waiting it will be even worse.

All my love,
Pilcrow English

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