Why You Should Take a Walk Today

I went for a walk today. The sun beat down on me as the breeze cooled off my freckled skin. The bluebirds sang from the white cherry blossom trees that offered the sweet but subtle scent of sakura. Without a cloud in sight, the sky appeared deeper than any pool, ocean, or cheesy pick-up line about blue eyes. I laid in the grass and stared up into the abyss before me, so vast that the horizon was nowhere to be found. That’s when I got to thinking; I had found my spark.

I consider myself a steward of the environment and have had a deep appreciation for nature since I was young. I love animals and plants like family, depending on the circumstances, sometimes more. All jokes aside, this beautiful planet we inhabit means a great deal to me, and the undeniable fact that it is changing unnerves me. 

The Facts:

  • The current trend of Earth’s warming climate is extremely likely (greater than 95% probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century.

  • The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 2.12 degrees Fahrenheit since the late-19th century.

  • The ocean has absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 100 meters of ocean showing warming of more than 0.6 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.

  • Global sea level rose about 8 inches in the last century, and experiments show that Antarctica lost about 148 billion tons of ice between 1993 and 2019.

Sign at a climate change protest Photo by Markus Spiske from Unsplash

Every organism in the biosphere relies heavily on the stability of our climate, and global warming is putting pressure on our ecosystems. With global warming comes earlier Spring; with earlier Spring, comes earlier migration of animals. As a result, flowers and plants may bloom out of sync with the lifecycle of pollinators, decreasing the likelihood of survival for both species. This ultimately affects the survival of other organisms that depend on them for food- it’s a chain reaction that slowly impacts every living thing. sign that has the earth on it that says Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Now, picture a world where I go for a walk, only this time, the sun is too harsh to show my bare skin, and the breeze cannot cool me. There are no bluebirds to sing from the sweetly scented cherry blossoms, and the pollution in the air is thick, making the sky foggy. Skyscrapers crowd my view of the horizon as I lay next to piles of trash on the once grassy hill. This is a world no one should have to experience, and there are ways we can help protect the environment. 

We, as a whole, need to educate ourselves and others on this global issue. We need to research sustainable ways to increase energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, eliminate waste, prevent pollution, increase recycling, the list goes on.

But there are ways we, as individuals, can do our part. Taylor Sheffield, a writer for Her Campus at Virginia Tech, recently wrote a lovely article on Practical Ways to Help Save the Environment. It highlights the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling and breaking down each step of the process.

I urge you to find your spark. Get angry, get passionate, get inspired. Above all, evaluate and identify what you can do to help. Spread the word and create a chain reaction. Together, we can restore and preserve our planet’s beauty before it’s too late. And as for today, I urge you to go for a walk.