Earth Day puts humans’ role in context

Sustainability is the planet’s natural state

 

Elsa Litecky, right, meets with Celine Cousteau, granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau, at an Earth Day conference last month. (Photo submitted)
Elsa Litecky, right, meets with Celine Cousteau, granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau, at an Earth Day conference last month. (Photo submitted)

Elsa Litecky
Guest Writer

In April I went to an Earth Day conference in Madison, Wis. A month later I still have thoughts from the conference cluttering my mind.

At the conference I had the opportunity to interview Celine Cousteau and Jane Goodall about Earth Day, life and the world. They are incredible people striving to make the world better not just for animals but for people. They both talked about how the world is made of billions of connections between animals and people. They also talked about how it is every person’s duty to live a sustainable life to protect the planet.

Sustainability, as Cousteau said, is a “word we created. They (Amazon tribes) live it every day because it’s the only way to live.”

Goodall had quite a few things to say about sustaining and protecting the natural world. A lot were things I had heard before from my mother. However, she caught me by surprise when I asked her what the most important lesson she had learned was. She paused and then looked me straight in the eye and said, “The biggest lesson I have learned, I suppose, is to try to act in a way that complies with what you believe in, to walk the talk as much as possible.”

This is awe-inspiring for me; it made me examine my life choices.

Dear readers: Are we really doing all we could be doing as a community to help people and the environment?

Elsa Litecky is studying field biology and conservation as a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. The 2011 graduate of Forest Lake High School hopes to work in environmental research or humanitarian efforts.