Thursday, July 12, 2007

Making a difference
by: Lori Hanemann Fickus

photo: one of the trash patrol Axel Snyder, age 4
How do you combat climate change? You do something. Something in your home, something at your job, or something in your community. Selawik is doing something. Selawik is located at the mouth of the
Selawik River where it empties into Selawik Lake,
about 112 km (70 miles) southeast of Kotzebue.

The youth in this community, rallied by Mothers for Alaska member Hannah Loon, have been picking up massive amounts of trash. In June, Hannah stated, "I would like to report that today, we picked 49 bags starting from Native Store to Ingram's. Then we moved to other side to school side on the board walk."

She also said the young people are curious about what else they can do. It is exciting times when mothers around Alaska are going into their communities and creating change. A response to climate change must begin with behavior changes. Each of us must reduce our carbon footprint - how much carbon dioxide we're putting into the atmosphere from home electricity use, driving cars, running snow machines and four-wheelers, and many other actions we need to be aware of. First comes education on what can be done, and then comes the time to change the behaviors - the way we do things.

Picking up trash is a terrific start to helping your community. Residents will appreciate their new beautiful community, and this will reduce litter, and in the long run, perhaps people will use less packaging, reuse items, and reduce how much they buy. Changing their behavior. We can all go out and pick up some trash; who knows where it will take you!

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