3 Environmental Lessons from the Lorax
By Jill Lawson for DietsInReview.com
Many of us are familiar with the Lorax, the character invented by the late, great Dr. Seuss, who incessantly tried to save the Truffula trees from destruction by the greed-driven villain, the Once-ler. Set in an idyllic landscape, the story of the Lorax begins in a place with clean air, healthy trees and a sustainable environment, but soon turns into a lonely place darkened by smog, pollution and the lifeless haze of abandonment.
Ahead of its time, visionary, or just stating the obvious, Dr. Seuss’s story of the Lorax and the Once-ler is not too far off from what we could soon face. While many environmental activists have awakened their inner Lorax to speak for the trees, there is still so much more we can do to help save the planet. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not,” said Seuss more than 30 years ago.
What Dr. Seuss said still applies. Unless we start speaking for the trees, we too will end up trying to survive in an unexciting and barren landscape. We must wake up to the truth that planetary destruction happens, “when simple things get out of hand.”
The following are three general directions to help you reconnect with your inner Lorax so you too can take a stand, because “a thing of beauty is a joy forever,” and to lose it would be a shame.
Initiate Change Locally
Like the Lorax who cared for the Swomee Swans and the Bar-ba-Loots, you too can get involved within your immediate community and surroundings. Join organizations that promote environmental sustainability, or volunteer your services to create them on your own. For example, inquire if local businesses, school systems or households have access to recycling, environmental education and earth-first programs. If not, be a persistent self-starter and make it happen.
Act as if Your Life Depended on Clean Air and Water
Resist the temptation to succumb to greed, like the Once-ler, who “speaks only for men and human opportunities” but disregards the health of the planet. Change your habits to limit your dependence on paper, plastic or other unnecessary petroleum products that turn into toxic waste and pollute clean air and water. Beyond bringing your own bag to the grocery store, make it a priority to avoid buying triple packaged food products, noxious detergents, and stuff that has to be shipped, flown or trucked in from afar. Pay attention, read labels and educate yourself before you buy, as if your life depended on it.
Be a Responsible and Earth-Savvy Consumer
The Lorax knew that Thneeds made from the Truffula trees were useless and unwarranted, but the Once-ler snubbed responsible action just to make a buck. Ask yourself when and where you fall victim to irresponsible consumerism for your own selfish benefits. Do not let yourself act negligently, because you too will witness a mass exodus of vibrant life around you if you aren’t earth-savvy.
We could all stand to wake up our inner Lorax and make some conscious changes in our habits and choices. Let us do what we can, and have a genuine desire to maintain the health of the planet, now, and in the future.