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Our Future is in Our Hands

"When enough people come together, then change will come and we can achieve about anything. So instead of looking for hope - start creating it." - Greta Thunberg

The photo above is the School Strike 4 Climate march I attended early this year.

I belong to the Generation Z cohort (birth years ranging between 1996 to 2010). This is the first ever generation to constantly be exposed to a digital presence throughout our everyday lives - being around computers, the Internet, social media, and rapidly evolving advanced technology. We also happen to be part of the generation who is taking the idea of environmentalism to the next level, and persuading (and not giving up on) for serious action on protecting and conserving the planet which we all live in.

Environmentalism is a serious topic that I think about every moment of each day, especially ever since I experienced recent patterns of abnormal climate conditions in my country over the past 4 years, particularly the Black Summer Bushfires in 2019-2020, La Nina which affected the summers of 2021 and 2022, and El Nino which is causing this winter to comprise of abnormally warmer weather. I never experienced such strange climate conditions while growing up as a child towards my high school years. I realised something was not going right when I started observing and encountering these weather patterns.

"Surely we have a responsibility to leave for future generations a planet that is healthy and habitable by all species" - Sir David Attenborough

The long-term effects of climate change is eventually going to affect the lives of all animals and plants, along with every human, regardless of whereabouts in the world you live and how much money you have. As consequences of these catastrophic events that already happened, people have lost their homes and possessions, animals experiencing habitat loss, and people and animals having sadly lost their lives. We are encountering not only abnormal weather, but also the lingering effects of the weather, which includes increasing grocery prices for fresh fruit and produce. Remember when we had a lettuce shortage? The price of one head of lettuce even climbed up to $11.99 AUD, unlike the regular pricing of $3 AUD. My local café substituted the shaved iceberg lettuce with spinach instead, and to be honest, I am not a fan of spinach. The 2021-2022 floods in Eastern Australia were mainly responsible for the unsuitable conditions for such produce to cultivate from, resulting in a shortage of lettuce supply. I am worried about what we and future generations would have to deal with, especially if the Earth's warming exceeds 1.5℃.

Just like those who also care as deeply as I do, I am trying to monitor the impacts my lifestyle behaviour has on the environment and am continuously seeking ways to minimise them as much as possible. Not only would my individual actions do some benefit to the environment, but it also gives me with a sense of accomplishment and responsibility. Switching off lights and electrical appliances when not in use, bringing your reusable bag when you shop, using a reusable bottle instead of a disposable one, etc., are excellent examples of small actions that we could all take to reduce our environmental impact.

A brighter future is what we want to pursue.


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