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To My Future Children and Grandchildren…

I was born in northern Michigan, surrounded by clean, beautiful lakes. I grew up believing that I promise to think of others who are less privileged than me when I work towards sustainable development. you were, there was a lake nearby. I ran down the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes. I swam in the waters of Lake Michigan a countless number of times. I hiked the trails, watching the beautiful views of the landscapes of endless water and sand. When I got older and moved away I realized how special this area is. I am so grateful to have had a childhood spent in nature, with access to amazing clean beaches. It is one of the most wonderful places in the world.

As I became older, I learned about climate change. My mother, your grandmother, worked at a non-profit organization building the community and protecting the environment. My father, your grandfather, created a green construction company using eco-building products and created sustainable houses. My parents taught me about the dangers of climate change. To think that the beautiful place I grew up could be ruined by human urbanization scared me. In college I studied sustainability and environmental courses. Climate change is happening faster than you think it is. It affects everyone. It does not spare the rich or the privileged, although those systemically oppressed and with less access to a healthy environment are at a higher risk for climate change effects. Ecosystems will be destroyed, animals will become extinct, traditional ways of life will end, everyone will be affected.

I hope the people on this earth will have to come together to solve climate change. We, as humans, have created this problem because of our destruction of the environment. We, as humans, must fix this problem and create new ways to live that help the earth instead of harm. I hope that you are able to live in a world where you can too run down the Sand Dunes and swim in Lake Michigan. I hope that you will be conscious about your lifestyle, and live in a sustainable way.

I promise to take action. I promise to learn more. I promise to spend time working towards a better tomorrow for our earth. I promise not to clean up areas and then kick out the people who have lived there for decades, I promise not to gentrify communities in order to make them more sustainable. I promise to think of others who are less privileged than me when I work towards sustainable development. I want everyone to have equal access to our beautiful lands. I want you to be able to live a happy and healthy life by taking care of the earth.

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