Liza’s (18) entry

“Our past is the future of an entire planet.”

September is gone. It’s still so hot, though I’d like to take out my soft hoodie to hide under its hood. My short-sleeved t-shirt will be enough, I’ll be full of sweat by the time I get to school anyway. I step out to the street and after a few meters I stop before the crosswalk. Cars. Cars everywhere. Where can you find a cyclist? Where are the kids with skateboards and roller skates? I see now, they are sitting in the car. I take a disappointed look at them and head towards the park. “It’s much shorter this way, and much nicer than between the concrete blocks.” That’s what I keep thinking as I roll a plastic bottle with my foot. I look around. I see three trash bins, all empty. A coke box to my left and a bag of chips behind me are resting in the soft ground. One last time, I look at the rolled bottle and then at my watch. I have to hurry, I’ll be late. Why didn’t I have three free seconds to bend and get it? Oh, I know it. There were some young people of my age with me. I just saw them throw something away. How would they react if I picked this up now? They would certainly laugh at me. I’d rather not put myself in an awkward position.
By the time I arrive, I’m very thirsty. This heat completely finishes me off. So I buy a soft drink and a straw. I know, plastic. But it’s just a piece of straw. Totally harmless. By the time I finish my drink, I’m really late. I take the waste I produced and throw it in the first bin I see. Next to it was the selective collector, but it doesn’t matter now, I did not notice in time.
During the class the teacher talks about environmental protection. I’m bored and I’m immersed in my phone. As I scroll through the community feed, I come across a picture. It’s a polar bear, he’s suffering. Due to the global warming, his home will soon disappear. I share it immediately. For a moment I think about what to write. Protect the Earth blah, blah, blah… chewed bone. I rather use a sad smiley. At least they will see how sorry I am. The day is over and I’m heading home again. It’s cold. Very cold. When has winter come and where is autumn? After all, summer was raging in the morning!
It’s mid-December. We won’t have a white Christmas this year either. As for almost eight years. We can’t build a snowman either. Always just a lot of slush. As the days pass, the situation does not change. March comes, which turns into a hot summer instead of a mild spring. Winter, summer, winter, summer. It will never end.
It’s 2060. I dress up my grandchildren. Caps, scarves and face masks, as it is dangerous to get out in the air these days. I pack for them a bottle of water each and then ask them to use it well as it is not easy to get clean drinking water these days. I also ask them to save on waste production during the day if they can. We already have too much spending. Yes, a waste production tax has been introduced to charge the owners of the waste that they have bought and then thrown away.Of course, non-recyclable product packaging has been removed from the shelves for decades, but unfortunately this has not improved the situation.
Looking at the kids, I remember when I was walking down this road. I see now why I should have picked up that bottle. “This is not what the future of our planet will depend on.” That’s what I said, and about 7 billion people outside of me. It would have been worth it to be late for the class in order to recycle, and it would have been worth it to encourage someone else as well to do so, even if they had laughed at me. Now I see why it is not enough if I am just sympathetic towards global issues. Action is required. That is, action would have been required. Our past is the future of an entire planet.

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