Earth Day 2019 – stop making excuses

April 22, 2019, is Earth Day. As the years go on, it will get more important for us to recognize this day and take action. The earth is being and will continue to be, destroyed by us if nothing changes.

I’m sure the idea of environmental protection is not distant to you; our feeds seem to be filled with articles, photos, and videos regarding environmental protection, as awareness is spreading. We feel good if we follow an account who claims they create a product from recycled materials, but do we really know why they do this? Why it’s so important that we recycle? That we save water? Electricity? For most people, the answer is no. We feel fulfilled enough with the little scraps of information we get from the headlines about climate change and rising sea levels, but we don’t really know how this will impact us, and we don’t bother to do anything because we feel like we can’t make a difference. So we continue to live in our naive bubble, telling ourselves that we’re doing enough by watching others tackle environmental problems when all around us the earth is changing, and we can’t undo that change.

Planet earth is our home, and it has been for about 200,000 years. It gives us food, water, and shelter, but what do we give it in return? Nothing. Instead, we tear it apart day after day, destroying it, polluting it, just for our own needs. What gives us the authority to do this?

According to the UN Environmental Report, the earth is now at a turning point. We can turn back, change our habits, and move towards a ‘sustainable future’, or we can plow forward towards a ‘bleak future’. The earth is on course to increase 3 degrees Celsius in the next dozen years. Even if only 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming happens, it would threaten ecosystems, cause extreme weather events, the coral would die off, the Arctic region would be in danger, coastal flooding would increase, crop yields would decrease, and the health of living organisms would decrease. If the sea-levels rise, it would affect 10 million people and would present us with many environmental refugees. So why aren’t we doing much?

There are a huge number of people who are doing great things to protect the environment, but there aren’t enough. It’s a common mindset to think that, if we can’t make any difference by ourselves, so we shouldn’t even try. But these are issues which can’t be solved by just one person, the only way we can move forward in a sustainable manner is to see the world unite to protect this planet.

This earth day, I challenge YOU to go further than just putting your paper in the recycling bin or taking a shorter shower for one day. I urge you to make a regular sustainable change in your life. Don’t just do something because it’s earth day, do it every day! Don’t just watch others fight for the environment, do it yourself. This problem is urgent and it’s large, so make sure that your actions for change match this.

If you are interested in reading some more articles about sustainability, here is where I got my information from Source 1, Source 2, Source 3.

If you have anything to say on this issue please leave it in the comments section below, and don’t hesitate to reach out to me!

See you next week,

Little Miss Expat

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Reflecting on 2018

Happy new year! It seems like just last week I was writing 2012 at the top of my school books! I can not believe that I’m going to turn 17 this year and that we’re one year away from my high school graduation! I feel like I say this every year, but this year more than ever this phrase is very applicable: it has been a BIG year. I feel as though I’ve gone through one of the toughest years of my life, but I’ve definitely learned a lot. The biggest lesson of all was learning about myself as I grow older and becoming more independent.

But before I get into an in-depth reflection I thought I would share a few of my highlights of the year:

  • Taking my blog to a new level with my photography, and doing more collaborations.
  • Making some great friends through my blog!
  • Launching the #ExpatWisdom Project on my blog
  • Having my writing published by The Expat Kids Club
  • Did my first product collaboration with Evolve Beauty
  • Doing well in school!
  • Did lots of charity work, which I loved every moment of
  • Making it halfway through my Junior year classes!
  • Running at big Cross Country and Track competitions & placing
  • Running my first half marathon
  • Did my longest flight ever and traveled to a place I’ve always wanted to visit (Australia)
  • Went to summer camp and became more independent (this was very outside of my comfort zone)
  • Did my first ever interview on camera!
  • SO MUCH personal growth
  • Became less stressed (I think)
  • Went to a Taylor Swift concert!
  • Made friends all across the world
  • Ate some REALLY good food!
  • Traveled to: Oman, London, Hatta, Washington D.C., New York, Newport, Boston, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Lebanon, Morocco, and Australia

WOW, that’s a jam-packed year! When I was writing that list I was so proud of everything that I’ve achieved this year, everything I’ve been through, and how I’ve come out on the other side. I feel like I’ve really grown up this year (and I don’t mean turning 16) but in terms of my perspective and my actions. Going to summer school was really an eye-opening experience. Living by myself for the first time, and doing everything for myself made me realize how important my family really is to me, and also what kind of a person I am. This year more than ever, as I mentioned I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned that I’m a simple person (if that makes sense?). I like simple things, I don’t like flashy parties and dramatic experiences, I’m much happier with a smaller group doing things I really love. I’ve learned that it’s okay not to follow the crowd, just to do what makes you happy, but also at the same time if you choose to do you, you don’t need to care about what everyone else is doing. I’ve learned that there are some things worth forgetting, and some things worth holding onto. When I say holding onto this also applies to my relationships all over the world. This year I kept in touch with friends I’ve made in different countries, who I still talk to every day, and it’s almost as if they’re in Dubai with me. And also holding onto the family who doesn’t live in Dubai with me. For some reason this year more than ever I’ve missed my family who lives abroad even more, and every time I fly back to Dubai after visiting them, the feeling of homesickness gets a little harder to deal with. But I guess as any expat would say that this is only something time can heal. I’ve learned to focus on what’s important to me, as it’s my Junior year and I’m drowning in work I’ve had to make decisions between how I spend the little free time I have and who I spend it with. I’ve learned that stressing doesn’t make anything easier, in fact, it only makes situations worse. I’ve learned not to let others actions affect me, as they don’t always have your best interests at heart, the only person that will always look out for you is actually yourself. In short, it’s been a blast, it’s been a struggle, It’s been a huge learning experience, but I think I’ve come into 2019 knowing myself better than I ever have, and I’m happy about that. There’s still a lot of things I want to do in 2019 so here are my goals.

  • Spend more ‘me time’
  • Revamp my blog and make some changes
  • Start my college applications and hopefully get into college!
  • Meet up with friends across the world
  • Let myself be the only one who determines my happiness (and even though it’s a cliche that’s a big one for me)
  • Visit at least one new place
  • Spend more time with my family
  • Go to the beach more (that seems a little silly, but I really love spending time by the beach)
  • Do well on my SAT and exams
  • Explore Dubai more as I only have a year and a bit left here
  • Use social media less (I’m going to write a post about this soon)

As you can see it’s going to be another busy year, but I’m up for the challenge! Going into this year having learned so much, I feel as though this year is going to be a good one. And as for you guys, I want to say thank you for continually reading my work and supporting me, this blog has been a place where I can interact with you and also share my thoughts. I hope that I can continue being a positive influence on you all! Let me know what you achieved last year and what your goals for this year are in the comments, I would love to hear them!

Happy New Year

Little Miss Expat