Just One Small Thing I Can Do

Teresa Carey Words 5 Comments

This is a journal entry from one of my students. She is 15 years old and shared it with me at the end of her course so I could share it with you. She was inspired by the ocean and hopes that her journal entry will inspire you as well. I’m sharing it here – these are her words.


Wednesday “Hump Day”

The sun is out as I start this entry, a sure sign that this day, the midpoint day in our week, was a good day. The morning dip in the cold Maine waters at 5:30am took my breath away but was almost pleasant in some sick twisted messed up way. We do it every morning. I used to hate it. But now I really like how before you dip, you can be absolutely freezing and shaking and miserable because even though it is summer, it is very cold up here. But after you dip you pull yourself out and everything is numb in a warm way and your brain has sharpened.

This morning after breakfast before we set out, T lead a morning meeting all about loving and respecting the ocean by keeping it clean, and how every action that we choose to take always influences other actions and results later on. We talked a lot about plastic and how bad it is for the environment and especially the ocean. But we can make good choices. T posed a challenge for an entire year or hopefully indefinitely to not drink anything out of one-time use plastic. I think I can do this. At the gas station I could get a Snapple or Monster, but no water bottle or soda or anything in plastic. Also this means no straws at restaurants and bringing a reusable water bottle places and having my own mug to drink from at Starbucks.

Honestly, what we discussed inspired me. Everyone had great ideas and I truly do want to take on that challenge and encourage others to do the same thing. We saw so many cute moon jellyfish and even touched one and it is important to keep their world clean.

The ocean is a body of water but it is also like a living, breathing organism in itself and we need to keep it and the entire world a good clean place to live. Cutting out the silly one-time use plastic that we don’t need is just one small way I can do that and I really want to.

After the talk, we got going and the wind was pretty brutal. We accidentally sailed over a lobster pot and almost got the line stuck on our rudder. So, it was slow going at first. We learned how to judge which way a boat is drifting in the current. Sometimes we were going backward and didn’t even know it.


Comments 5

  1. Mirosan

    Thank you Teresa for teaching these simple steps. Is the next step seeing that our body is an ecosystem and what you put in…..? I’ll leave that one for you to decide.

    I pick up so many straws and bits of broken plastic packaging on my way to the train station on most mornings. At times I walk with pride seeing hardly anything to pick up. These time I feel alive and happy for the planet but mostly I see never ending ever increasing amounts of junk and think what is so difficult in knowing that there is no throwing OUT on this planet. It’s all a closed ecosystem. Some big hole outside the city called the dump is just some critters home. Underground streams pass through everywhere. Birds often use desolate places outside of cities to nest and so on. They often mistake the colourful plastics for food and usually starve to death with stomachs full to brim – of plastic, unable to break it down to pass out. It saddens me that the intelligent race we are just does not get it.

    So thank you for shining a light for our blue planet.
    Happy, safe sailing.

  2. Lazy Jacques

    Great post. I’ve long admired your approach to life and the ocean, and I’m glad you have a chance now to pass on your wisdom (young as you are). Setting out on the ocean gives all us First World city-dwellers a chance to have these ah-ha moments, about the fragility of the planet, our impact on it’s health, and how inextricably connected we all are with it, and yet so many of us (I’m talking about my generation, now) choose to shut it out in our big air-conditioned floating condos. We end up taking our unsustainable city with us everywhere we go, like a big plastic turtle shell, out of which you hear the genny running all night long, so we have juice to run the washer-dryer the next morning before pulling up anchor.

  3. Wayne Villandry

    Taking action, however small, is the cure for inaction. Take it from someone who’s been there and finally cleared off her desk and raised her monitors to proper ergonomic height after a desk chair swap experiment . No matter how bad it gets, try one small thing.

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