Who says one person
can’t make a difference?
Josalyn Bonney certainly doesn’t agree with that particular idea. She decided that she wanted to help save the rainforest—but what could one kid possibly do? As it turned out, one kid can do quite a lot, especially with a network of friends and family to help her out.
Josalyn, daughter of Carol and Cory Bonney (owners of the Inn at Horn Point in Eastport), thought that the best way to save the rainforest was to raise money, and what better way for a kid to raise some cash than a good, old-fashioned lemonade sale? She posted a sign that read, “COMING SOON: Lemonade Sale. July 4th,” to create a little advance buzz in the neighborhood. The Giant grocery store on Bay Ridge Rd. donated a case of lemons and Josalyn’s grandparents donated the cutting and squeezing of 140 lemons. With her friend, Julia Leney, by her side, Josalyn sold 132 cups of fresh-squeezed lemonade for $1.00 each as well as another $206 in donations. All of the $338 dollars collected that day went to the Rainforest Foundation, an organization that supports the indigenous peoples of the world’s rainforests.
The conservation movement has been around since the rise of the industrial age. The pollution from factories and growing cities led to movements in Europe in the mid to late 19th century, followed closely by movements and organizations in the United States. One of the oldest environmental organizations in the U.S. is the Sierra Club, founded by naturalist John Muir in 1892. The National Park Service was formed in 1916, with a mission to “conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”
However, in the 1960s, environmentalism became more of a populist ideology, fueled by a general rise in civic awareness and public protest. Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson, was published in 1962, and provided a revealing and devastating look at the effect of insecticides and pesticides on the food chain. As a result of her book, DDT was eventually banned, and the average American was more likely to hold an interest in the health of the environment.
Today, the word “environmentalism” covers a broad range of ideologies and organizations. More radical groups, such as Earth First! and the Earth Liberation Front, use sabotage and other forms of civil disobedience (and, in some cases, outright violence) to protect wildlife habitats. At the other end of the spectrum, large corporations have developed and successfully marketed environmentally “friendly” products for the American consumer, such as the organic foods of Whole Foods Markets and the hybrid automobiles from Toyota, Honda, and GM. With the success of the film, An Inconvenient Truth, more people have been inspired to “go green” and many wonder what steps an individual can take in pursuit of a healthier planet.
Here are just a few ways
that you, like Josalyn Bonney, can make a difference:
• Change just one 60-wat light bulb in your house to a compact fluorescent bulb. Over the life of the new bulb (typically about 6000 hours) you will save about $22 off your electric bill and prevent 396 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
• Drive less aggressively. Aggressive driving—rapid acceleration and braking—can lower gas mileage by as much as 33 percent on the highway and five percent in town. Aggressive drivers use an extra 125 gallons of gas and spend over $250 more than average drivers each year.
• Unplug. Your electric meter is often adding up kilowatt hours when you don’t think you’re using an appliance. Unplug toasters and cell phone and other chargers when they’re not in use. Don’t use air fresheners that have to be plugged in.
• Calculate your impact. By answering a few easy questions, you can find out how much carbon pollution you create, and how this compares to the national average. See http://www.fightglobalwarming.com/carboncalculator.cfm or http://www.safeclimate.net/calculator/ for a more comprehensive questionnaire.
For a web journey to the rain forests of the world and more facts, figures and more go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rain_forest/