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3 Environmental Lessons from the Lorax

3 Environmental Lessons from the Lorax

By Jill Lawson for

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.

7 Lessons Dr. Seuss Taught us About Diet and Fitness
The Story of a Real-Life Lorax
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Read more: Eco-friendly tips, Environment, Green

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12:03PM PST on Feb 4, 2014

Thanks for sharing...

3:25AM PDT on Apr 15, 2013

I will share it more

3:20AM PDT on Apr 15, 2013


1:47PM PST on Dec 12, 2012

Thanks, I re-shared this

3:28PM PDT on Mar 17, 2012


11:59AM PDT on Mar 14, 2012

Recycling is the one thing that could make the most difference if everyone did it. It saves landfill space and it uses less energy to recycle a product than to make a new one. It is a win-win-win for the planet. And all of you, there is NO PLANET B.

9:07AM PDT on Mar 12, 2012

Unfortunately the right wing has no values, so they would be blind to the lessons from the Lorax.

9:14AM PST on Mar 8, 2012

Good reminders. Thanks.

5:09PM PST on Mar 7, 2012

Too bad that this once wonderful story is now a vehicle for corporate advertising of products you know the Lorax would never have supported... a Thneed approved Mazda???? I-Hop Lorax pancakes, never mind I won't list all 70+ large corporations that are not friendly to our environment that now are using the Lorax to advertise their products... not to mention that this movie is a pale shadow of the great book. What a sell out. Do yourself and your children a favor and buy the original book! PEACE!

5:02PM PST on Mar 7, 2012

It's a shame the movie is a terrible pale shadow of the book. The spirit of the message is gone and the Lorax is pasted all over greenwashed products everywhere.

There's your renewable energy source - let's hook a cam and generator up to Dr. Seuss' dessicated remains, because he must be spinning like a lathe right now.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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