One Sunday morning in Miami my sister and I were joking around. I was telling her how the building management of the place I lived in doesn’t have any recycling bins, which is the reason why every time I go to my mom’s house in Naples, FL I always walk in with a bag of recyclable waste. This action though simple, has a very large impact on the environment over the years. Let’s make counts: if each one of us recycles 5 pounds of trash every week, we will have recycled 240 pounds in a year.
Many of us are capable to make important achievements in our respective social circles by making small decisions. As a community, we need to be conscious.
I would like to ask the question, what is it that our communities need to gain a deeper awareness about green practices? It’s about owning and sharing the same goal: that of protecting the environment. A follow-up question is, how can we achieve this? When answering this, some undeniable truth comes up: that society must be informed and that the change we want can’t come entirely from the authorities governing us.
Then, reality hits us in our face. That more than organizers, we are educators. That leading a misinformed crowd is as disfranchising as the policies we fight against, and that it is ultimately our role to act as the mediums of change through education. An educator can move from location to location, but the knowledge they leave in people, if meaningful, will stay in their minds like a watermark in a letter: present behind every word said, behind every word read, every statement produced. While we work every day to achieve social justice, let’s remember that empowering people means to share our knowledge, no matter how little, with the people who inspire us second by second.
Sandra Urquiza, 25, has been an advocate for human and immigrant rights back at home, in Peru, and in the United States. Sandra is the Coordinator of one of the largest Hispanic organizations in the country, Democracia USA, leading a campaign that registered over 44,500 new voters to vote in South Florida.