Wild, in essences we all are. Sometime between our everyday rat race and simply finding a temporary escape we’ve lost something dear to us, nature. I make it a point to spend as much time as possible outdoors when I can. My morning starts like any other. My thoughts run wild with ideas of where to go and what to do. I spent the afternoon walking through my local forest with the hopes of clearing my mind last weekend. Most of these trips more or less turn into lost thoughts. taking photos of my surroundings and wondering how to improve on who I am as a person. I simply want to just improve on who I am and what I can do to make this place better.
I don’t like getting in the way too much with nature although I have no problem casting a fly into the path of any fish willing to play a game of tug-o-war. The truth is we as human beings play many important roles in the outcome of our estuaries, forest and habitats that not only maintain wildlife but our very existence alike. As everyone knows even the smallest insects and creatures have important roles in this larger picture. Day by day I see dump trucks on my way to work with trash billowing out of them driving down Interstate 4 and people carelessly allowing trash in the beds of their pickups to escape into the wild and while the naive may think “job security for others” and keep on trucking the truth is how much of this trash will accumulate and never reach landfills (they themselves have trouble of taking care of business so to speak).
It all needs to start from the source, being the creators of the trash and expendable products we all dispose of. Over the years we have gone from heathy beautiful estuaries here in florida to waste ridden landscapes that are being strangled by the ones that not only frequent the areas and utilize them for a temporary “hang-out” or “escape” from civilization in this new aged breed of people that only care about perceived image of ones self and the upmost disrespect of nature. The reality is I’ve only seen a small handful of people that actually come just to clean and educate in areas that need to be preserved for not only our health but the inhabitants that physically depend on these areas to live.
I met a gentlemen several months ago that was a professor for a college further north in the United States and he explained that he had led a study amongst his students. He took the students to a park and had them physically witness the destruction and the cause and effect of overpopulation near wildlife refuges. While on this trip he observed his students to see if any of them would pick up trash and place it where it belonged while on this trip (bare in mind it was focused on conservation) he noted that almost less than 8% of his students even bothered to pick up trash they had seen out and about. While all of this is somewhat discerning (especially given the targeted subjects) its made me more aware that while it may seem that the audience is there, we need more education and understanding, possibly just a larger audience and a physical way to relate the dangers and caution the current and future outdoorsmen and women. While I believe that not all of us are the problem I’ve mentioned we can all come together for a better solution. After all the nature of humans is to follow in a herd mentality this is why we as outdoorsmen and women need to be the leaders of the pack. Once we have their attention hopefully they will fall in love with the outdoors and what it really means to be in a place where you can make a difference a little as it may be.
Until next time,