I have been passionate about the natural world, especially animals, my entire life. As a child, playing in the woods was the best. Whether furry, feathered, scaly, leafy, 6 legs or 8, I was enamored with watching and learning all I could about these living creatures. As an adult, that hasn’t changed. I have a background in biology, wildlife research, wildlife rehab, veterinarian science, and youth education teaching about the importance of caring for our ecosystem.
Being outdoors is my happy place. Hiking, kayaking, climbing, and snorkeling fill up my free time. On all of my excursions, I sadly started to notice something horrible, trash everywhere. I find it in the water, up trees, on the beach, wrapped around wildlife, everywhere. I began to get extremely angry. How can we have so much disrespect for our beautiful planet? Instead of just getting mad and complaining, I decided to do something about it. Every morning I get up and clean the parks, beaches, rivers, trails, side of the road, you name it. It is infuriating how quickly you can fill up 30 gallon containers with trash that has been thrown on the ground.
Cleaning up wasn’t enough though, I knew I could do more. I started working with government and community organizations to try and improve and enforce environmental laws. This has not been an easy fight. It is inconceivable to me that so many people who are in charge of our natural areas couldn’t care less. My tenacity is unwavering though, and I have no issue with being as annoying as possible for however long it takes. Nobody ever changed anything by keeping their mouth shut.
The most important thing I do is education, especially with young people. Working with youth groups and teaching them ways to be better to the planet, is key to the future of it. I wish I had a dollar for every time I hear, “wow, I never thought about that before,” when referring to garbage. That is why it is so important to get out into the community and educate. I teach ways to reduce waste, how to reuse and recycle, and clean up trash when it’s on the ground. These are all easy steps, but we just have to make people aware of them. This is a task that is most important for me to accomplish everyday.
Trying to keep our beautiful planet clean and protected has become my calling. It is a difficult and frustrating job, but it is so worth it. One thing that keeps me motivated is my fellow Eco-Warriors on social media. There are so many amazing humans around the world busting their butts everyday to keep our natural world protected. I send my absolute love and appreciation to all of you, thank you for encouraging me everyday. We can all be better to our planet, if we start with small changes, they will always become big ones.