Some things stick with you over the years, and for me a lot of the things I was passionate about in childhood surface in my art and inspiration as an adult. There is something pure about what you loved as a kid, the things that brought you genuine joy and captured your imagination; long before the pressures of real life dictated your life (and especially growing up before the digital age of influencers, where the only option was to truly be yourself.)
The highlight of my year in 2nd grade was learning about the Amazon rainforest, and it became a topic little baby me threw herself into with a passion even outside of school. I was utterly fascinated by the wildlife that live there, and the horror at what mankind did with it's destruction is probably where the start of my little eco-warrior roots began.
I am grateful to have been given the chance to fall in love with this natural wonder so young, but it made the devastating fires of this year hit me even harder. I've watched the forests burn in absolute horror. While the rainforest is talked about as the lungs of the earth (producing 20% of the world's oxygen) it also has the most dense bio-diversity of any natural habitat in the world. Thousands upon thousands of species call the Amazon home, many of which humankind hasn't even discovered yet. In an age where you can spot your home from space via satellite, the Amazon is one of the last frontiers on earth, and is believed my many to hold the answers to our modern problems (such as undiscovered compounds that just may just happen to be cures.)
With the active deforestation being a politcal issue (essentially sanctioned by the new presiden of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro) it is difficult to feel like we can do anything about the situation. But, there ARE things we can all do to make a difference, especially collectively as a group. Here are just a few ways anyone can make an impact: