During the early days of our Alaska trip, I posted how a lady joined my 10-year-old son’s blueberry-picking expedition on a mountain trail near Denali.
As we headed back down the mountain, I started a conversation with her and she struck me as an environmentally-conscience Alaskan. I asked her,
“Is there a big community of conservationists in Alaska?”
She answered, “I think we are pretty evenly split between those who are committed to conservation and those who don’t seem to care.”
As evenly split as people might be, Alaska definitely leads all 50 U.S. states in the amount of natural resources needing protection. Remarkably, only 1 percent of the state is in private hands.
Over the past month, our family has toured Alaska’s wonders from Anchorage to Denali, Fairbanks to Valdez, Whittier to Seward and Kenai to Homer. Her mountains, rivers, glaciers, seas and wildlife have left me awe-stricken and grateful for the raw ruggedness and untamed enchantments of our world.
Wild Alaska has inspired me. The fierce need I feel to protect our planet from exploitation has grown. And my trip definitely led me to a deeper commitment to environmentalism.
Yes, many people continue to support oil drilling, mining and other measures that plunder the Earth’s resources despite their toll on the environment.
But there are many others who care about the environment. I think their numbers are growing. Even the hunters who gave me a lift after I’d hit the moose seemed serious about conservation efforts.
In fact, their own 11-year-old daughter had become vegan! Times are changing; it’s still possible for us to see our planet rebound. And we’ll have the greatest impact on its health by changing the way we eat.
So the fact that I and all six of my fellow travelers ate nothing but earth-friendly, plant-based food during the trip didn’t only feel right. It was right.
Each and every one of us can make a difference – even 10-year-old boys and 11-year-old girls!