By Heather Gray
I have always considered myself “environmentally friendly.” I am an avid recycler, I always bring my own grocery bags, and I feel good about taking the subway to work. I’m not changing lives or anything but I have always felt like, at the very least, I am limiting my contribution to the problem. And that is what I always thought it meant to care about the environment – don’t make it worse.
Well, I thought that way until my friend Jessie asked if I was interested in having my little girl filmed playing at the park for a video being produced by WWF. Jessie wanted to capture images of little kids just enjoying nature to remind people of why conservation is important.
Conservation? Isn’t that the same as environmentally friendly? Well, yes and no. Conservation aims to preserve the natural environment and the species that inhabit that environment by protecting it – not just by limiting how polluted it gets.
There is a conceptual difference and it’s one I didn’t appreciate until I really watched my little girl simply enjoying the water’s edge, running down a dirt path and finding an old tree perfect for climbing. These simple joys are something I want her to have, and that I want my grandchildren to have and – in order for that to happen – I need to be more than just “friendly” and then, maybe, I can change lives.