Last Sunday with the volunteer association GEA Granada and a couple of friends we did some reforesting in the foothills of Granada. What is it about fresh air and helping the planet that lifts one’s spirit so high? We had a picnic in Llano de la Perdiz after we had finished, listening to the birds and watching the clouds; a total soul cleanse. The experience made me wonder, why is it so difficult for us as a society to make the health of our planet a priority? Why do we continue using plastic for everything, throwing our garbage out the car window, driving instead of riding a bicycle, poisoning our earth and ourselves with pesticides instead of eating organic foods? Mother Nature gives us so much, it´s time we all started giving back.

In my English classes (that’s right, apart from being a photographer and a writer, I also teach English in a private academy in Granada) I spent a week with my kids teaching them about the environment, nature and animal vocabulary, and I always dedicate at least a class or two to sustainability and green living. This experience planting trees got me thinking about bringing my kids out to the woods and doing some tree-planting of our own. As long as we’re speaking English it should fit right into the curriculum!

Yesterday I was in the car with a friend and after opening his pack of gum, he tossed the platic right out of the car window. This is a person who recycles, a person who cares about animals and the ocean, a person who volunteers with the red cross. I could’t believe what I had witnessed, a habit so natural it was clearly a reflex that had been formed over many years of throwing little plastic wrappers out the window, as if when it left the car it ceased to exist. It’s these little things that we need to change and which, collectively, could make an important difference. Stop throwing gum on the ground. Stop buying individually wrapped pieces of fruit. Stop using plastic bags. Stop driving absolutely everywhere. Start loving your earth, not just in the big gestures but in those every day little habits.

“In every walk in nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” John Muir