Yesterday, Jacob and I took Avery to the dollar movie theater (it’s really $1.25 but whatevs) to see The Lorax. We are probably the only people with kids who haven’t seen it and I wanted to remedy that. Also, she is currently obsessed with Dr. Suess so I knew she’d enjoy it. She has One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish practically memorized and she is in love with the Cat in the Hat. Somehow, our copy of The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That DVD has mysteriously disappeared. Very odd.
Anyway, I don’t recall ever reading The Lorax nor does Jacob so we only kind of knew what it was about and assumed that the film would elaborate and add things that weren’t included in the book. Basically, the movie is about a town that is so overly plasticized and manufactured that they don’t even breathe natural, fresh air unless it comes from a bottle. No real trees, food, nothing. It’s all over-processed and put into nice packaging for convenience. In this town is a boy who is in love with a girl. She has heard of the once-existence of real trees and longs to have, or even just see, a real tree. The boy’s grandma tells him a story about a man outside of town that knows about real trees and she tells her grandson where to find him. He takes off and finds that getting out of their town, which is walled-up like a prison, will be a challenge but every day he makes his way out through winding tunnels and sees what lies on the other side. Outside of town is dark, dreary, and lifeless. Stumps are the grave markers where beautiful trees once stood. He meets the man his grandma spoke of and the man, named the Once-ler, tells him of how he personally destroyed every single tree and the ecosystems they contained out of greed. The Once-ler gifted the boy a single seed which was the only tree seed left, and instructed the boy to plant it where everyone could see it. The boy, whose name I can’t remember, went back into town and was being hassled and chased by the CEO of the company who manufactures and sells air. Trees give off fresh air for free and is obviously a threat to his business model. This guy is the villain. He and his cronies try to stop the boy, the girl he loves, and grandma from planting the seed. However, the boy explains to the townspeople what is going on and shares what he has learned so they are all on-board with planting the tree and overthrow the villain. Of course they do! The seed gets planted, a tree goes, and pretty soon little trees are growing everywhere. It’s magical.
The message resonated with me since I believe that we need to take care of our planet and not deplete all of our resources. We live in a society of excess and garbage and an aversion to reusing items. I’m not prefect, of course. We didn’t use cloth diapers with Avery and diapers are huge landfill fillers. But, we recycle because our city has curbside recycling pick-up so we do our part. Even Avery, who is three, knows what can be recycled and what belongs in the trash. We compost which helps keep our trash bin from smelling like rotting produce. Also, it’s great for growing organic fruits and vegetables in our backyard. We plant flowers and trees and use natural products to do so- no crystallized fertilizers on my lawn!
There are so many ways to reduce your waste and you probably don’t even realize it! Every time you go to Starbucks, bring your own cup! You see others doing it, so why don’t you? Use real plates and flatware, not plastic or even worse, styrofoam, at your next get-together. I know that doing the dishes sucks but if you just load up your dishwasher you’ll be keeping all of that junk out of the landfill (but washing tons of dishes by hand actually wastes water and is counter-productive so use the dishwasher!). Reuse what you can. Donate old clothes; don’t throw them away. There are tons of ways to lessen you and your family’s impact on the environment. It may not seem like it’s worth the effort but I believe that we need to create a healthier, safer, and cleaner planet for future generations. No harm in doing my part to make that happen, right?
I’m so glad that I’m raising a kid who gets it. From birth she has been exposed to a world where kindness to animals and nature is the norm and not a world where harm of any kind is acceptable. She will then lead by example and show others how to live without being cruel and destructive. At least, that’s what I hope for. If she ends up turning into a camo-wearing, animal hunting conservative and not the tree-hugger I’m raising her to be, then oh well. But at least during her childhood she reduced her environmental impact.
That’s all any of us can do, right? What do you do to help the environment?
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Suess