The only ten-year challenge we should really care about

We’re only a few weeks into the new year and already we’ve been treated with glorious new memes and trends. My favorite yet is the #TenYear challenge that’s popping up all over social media. The trend has also captured celebrity attention, seeing some of our ‘hottest stars’ participating in the before VS now pictures and videos. Many of these are great laughs and give major throwback vibes. However, despite the ten-year challenge initially starting out as an opportunity for social media users to reflect on who they were and how they looked a decade ago, it has now encouraged important conversations around some of the worlds most pressing environmental issues. Given that the majority of these drastic changes within our environment are caused by human activity, I thought I would share some of these with you guys:

Here are some of the most eye-opening, mouth dropping, examples I found:

Screen-Shot-2019-01-21-at-21.43.18-670x388Karoun River, Khuzestan provinceten year challenge elephantsad-10-year-challenge-nature-memes-fb12__700-pngirans environmentpolarbearicecapscoral reef10YearChallenge-Forest8839944-6618663-Millions_of_people_have_been_taking_part_in_the_10YearChallenge_-a-6_1548175859128

As you can see the difference that ten years can make within the world and our environment is extreme. According to Business Insider, 2018 was the hottest year on record for the world’s oceans, which are heating up 40% faster than originally predicted. It should then come as no surprise that sea levels are rising, coral reefs, and the ecosystems they support, are vanishing, and Antarctic ice is melting six times faster then the 80’s alone. Unfortunately, such global warming does not go without its harmful impacts on wildlife that relies on these ecosystems to survive (much like we do!). Puffins are in a huge state of decline and at significant risk of extinction and bear hibernation and behavioral patterns for winter over the years have said to be altered due to the impacts that climate change has placed on them. Climate change is also one of the leading reasons malnutrition rates are rapidly climbing across the Pacific representing the single greatest threat to peoples livelihoods, security, and wellbeing in those areas, and it won’t be long till this spreads further across the globe into the comfort of which we “developed countries” experience.

One of the most troubling aspects of this, is people’s, especially people in leadership positions ( I am looking at you trump), disregard for the facts behind climate change and it’s inevitable impacts on the only planet we can inhabit.

Hurricane Harvey

It would seem time flies by under our noses. Yes, day to day we do not see such extreme impacts, maybe we are lucky in that regard, or maybe we aren’t since it is this that makes so many of us unaware of the irreversible damage we are doing on our planet. It is not one single action from one single individual in one single day in those years that have caused this. It is the choices EVERY SINGLE PERSON on this earth makes every day that affect the world around us to such extremes. The way you choose to live and the choices you make, whether it be in your daily purchases or just at home, really do affect everyone. Can you imagine if 7.7 billion of us stood up and chose to be more conscious? and if not for the people and others across the globe dying from the effects of climate change, for the fact that inevitably we too will be in their shoes if it does not change?.

It is not up to one single person to change this. It requires cohesive, global attention and action from every single individual. I know this sounds so unachievable and you may think – well how can just one single person make a difference when I know others around me aren’t?. If you are one of those people currently pondering that, please watch the video I’ll provide at the end of this blog to see how a single persons change in choices and actions alone can influence others and make a positive change in stopping climate change in its tracks.

It is up to us (and I mean ONLY us!) to acknowledge that we do not own this earth, instead, we share it with many other inhabitants, including other humans, ecosystems, species, and wildlife which cannot be replaced, even with modern day technology. We as humans have achieved so many wonderful things in the last hundred years together (unfortunately with many costs), so there is no part of me that believes we can’t achieve this.

Let’s make the next ten years something we are proud of. Let’s make the next ten years one that allows our environments to bounce back. Let’s choose to eat locally, grow our own foods when possible, support renewables, consume less, waste less, educate more and for heaven’s sake let’s make them as plastic free as we can! I hope the next ten years allow people to feel they have a voice and the means to stop climate change because if we do not act now, change our lifestyles and hold our leaders and ourselves accountable, we may not have another ten to do so.

Remember, when we know better we can DO better.

Please take the time to watch this incredible video below!

Isabella