Arizona mountain scene

Nikki BaileyWhen I sat down to write this I have to admit, I kind of had an “Oh snap!” moment. The truth is, while I am aware and deeply concerned about climate change…I am not doing my part. Sure, I skip using a straw once in a while, try to re-use my plastic grocery bags (wow, did I just say that?), and I think twice before I grab another paper towel for a toddler mess…but I know I can do more. A lot more. I want to do more. 

I remember years ago when the first “Planet Earth” movie came out. I was in awe of the beauty I would never see in person. I was deeply moved by the life that goes on all around me, far and wide, that I would never get to touch first hand. Step one for me, was realizing that I actually do touch it first hand…every day. Each choice I make actually does make an impact on the future of humanity. And so does yours. 

Ask anyone and they’ll list some familiar actions as to how we can slow climate change. I believe that someday soon we will live in a world where these actions become evident and expected. The norm. Seeing companies like Starbucks and Hilton, among others, vow to end use of plastic straws is promising. Companies who choose to make a bold move like this will make it easier for all of us to live more globally minded lives. 

small child pulling red wagon with saguaro and mountain in backgroundAs an educator and parent, I find myself in an incredibly important role as we venture through the territory that is climate change. I am responsible for instilling an awareness and action in the children of the future. 

At the school where I teach, we have a wonderful recycling program that is run by Student Council. Teachers take time at the beginning of the year to explain materials that can and cannot be recycled. Each week, Student Council members come around to collect the recycling and dump it into our big bin outside. It’s small acts like this that will count over time. If each family, each classroom, each person chose even ONE thing to focus on, we would see change. This is my motivation and my personal goal as well. Start small, evoke change, and rest in hope that others will do the same.

Nikki is a second generation Native Tucsonan who teaches second grade in The Vail School District. Nikki’s passion for becoming a disruptor for good comes from the simple fact that Climate Change is happening and there is no denying that. She feels it is part of our responsibility as parents and educators to raise awareness and make changes in our daily lives that will help sustain planet Earth in the future.