As we continue sharing New Year's resolutions from our Sustainable Newton Board members, today we hear from Mike McQuaide. Everyone's next best step is a personal choice, but we hope you each find a meaningful action to take in 2020. We strive to lead by example, but you can find many great ideas here.
By Mike McQuaide, Sustainable Newton Board Member
Many of us have been captivated by David Attenborough’s documentary films featuring various dimensions of the natural world. What is less well known is Attenborough has received considerable criticism from environmental activists for his lack of attention to threats to the sustainability of the natural environment caused by human activity.
My wife and I watched Attenborough’s most recent series, and it was obvious the criticisms had found their mark. Each installment featured graphic assaults on the natural processes of the earth. Some films were difficult to watch, as mother seals would not abandon their dead pups killed by plastics found everywhere in the oceans. After we watched Attenborough’s documentary on the state of the oceans, our conversation turned to the predictable question of “what can we do?”
Our tentative answer to the perennial question of “how to help?” led us to be much more mindful of our use of plastic. We bought metal straws we now take with us when we enjoy a restaurant meal. This way, we don’t use a plastic straw that will not biodegrade and will end up in the ocean. It is one small change in how we think and act, but these seemingly inconsequential changes can have a significant impact when larger numbers of people adopt the same practices.
Set one of your New Year’s resolutions to be more actively considerate of the earth’s natural processes and think in terms of the sustainability of our daily practices. The earth and its inhabitants will thank you.