Lily's Story

Wake up. Walk to the bathroom and turn on the sink. Leave it running as I turn around and grab my toothbrush and face wash. When that’s done go to the kitchen and grab a cup from dishwasher. Fill it with water. Eat breakfast and throw my dishes in the sink. Wash my hands then go off to school. Come home later, tired from a busy day of school and track practice. All I can think about is taking a shower, which will usually end up being around 15 or 20 minutes. Then go to bed and start the whole thing over again the next day.

That was my life before Earth Camp. I never even thought about saving the planet all that much. Sure I recycled sometimes, and didn’t litter all that much. But I never really got very into it. I wanted to, but I didn’t know how. Now I do. At Earth camp I learned how little things can make big differences. Our planet is running out of resources. We as people of Earth need to unite and make our planet healthier. Im going to start with myself.

Something as simple and easy as changing your showerhead can save gallons of water every year. Reusing a plastic bag can greatly reduce plastic use. I look around my lunchroom and see piles of trash being thrown away. But where is away? Brad Lancaster told me that there is no away. All that waste is just being put in landfills all over Earth. By recycling, there’s not as much garbage that will eventually cover our entire planet. Brad Lancaster taught me that we can find ways to conserve resources in everything. Don’t take that extra piece of paper, just write smaller. And do you really need to use paper towels when cloth works just as good? All of the things that I leaned make me able to educate people about saving our planet, starting right at my house.

Im going to start by using less water to clean my dishes. My dishwasher has a switch on it that uses less water to clean. We could even start hand washing dishes at my house, like we did when we were camping. Then all we need to wash the dishes is a bin of water, not the gallons it takes to use the dishwasher. I could save over 20 gallons of water that way. I can take way shorter showers, and pay attention to every drop that runs down my sink. At the grocery store with my mom I’ll help her find locally grown fruits and vegetables. Food imported from out of town wastes so much fuel and resources. One idea that I have is to talk to the owner of Eegees. Everything they sell is in styrofoam cups. They could easily switch to recycled paper, or something a little more eco-friendly. When I see my friends or family wasting water or throwing away things that could be recycled I’m just going to tell them how I feel. Ignorance is one of the major things killing our planet.

I can’t just say, “I’m going to save the world!“ I can start with myself. My actions will affect my family. My family’s actions will affect my community, affecting my town. Soon my country will be changed, and my country really can affect the world. By starting with myself I can change the planet, and make people more aware of environmental issues.

Did you ever wonder what happens when you flush your toilet? Well thanks to Earth Camp I (unfortunately) know the answer to that. It was a little (extremely) gross. All of the waste that we flush down goes to wastewater treatment plant. In my case the Roger Road Treatment Plan. There waste is put through a series of purifying processes. These include biosolids being sent to the dump, and bioliquids being cleaned. The bioliquids are sent through many steps, but they eventually end up being fed into the Santa Cruz River. Many small microbes live in this river, feeding on particles in the water.

All the murky water and squirmy microbes eventually make their way to the mighty Colorado River. Guess where our drinking water comes from? The Colorado! I’m sorry but does anyone but me think that’s gross?

We used to get most of our water from the ground, but now we’ve used up all the accessible water in the aquifers. People in Arizona have to work to conserve our water because we don’t have a lot of it. At Brad Lancaster’s house we saw how he used grey water for many things. We got to see his rainwater bins, outside showers, and washing machines. We saw his special planting system, slanting the ground towards the plants needing to be water. His outside shower was really sweet. He had it hooked up so that all the water flowed to plants in need of watering. And his washing machine watered his fruit trees. Brad brought the community together, making their neighborhood a beautiful and eco-friendly place. From Brad I learned that by creating an example one person can change a community.