As we are currently faced with exhausting times, we lose sight of the importance of taking care of the Earth that feeds us.

The Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Houston acts as a yearly reminder of the many challenges our planet faces and the communities that are fighting back.

Director Rachel Power presenting The Wild & Scenic Film Festival at the River Oaks Theater

Director Rachel Power presenting The Wild & Scenic Film Festival at the River Oaks Theater

I wrote an article last year informing readers about the Wild & Scenic Film Festival. This year I acted as a volunteer, passing out raffle cards to festival goers. During my duties, I chatted with guests about their biggest local environmental concerns. The answers varied from Trump himself, plastic bags, and illegal dumping in the city. Going over the many different answers, I realized how much I didn’t know about my city. I was for the first time concerned about the quality and contents of the water I was drinking, and the air that I was breathing.

Just as the endless number of questions and uncertainty entered my head, the films began. Over pollution risks in the salmon rivers of Alaska, climate change in Ethiopian (the birthplace of coffee) the affecting the production of coffee beans, and the ocean finally giving back over 50 years of plastic dumping to our beaches, this was all news to me.

Isn’t there suppose to be regulations, warnings, or even spam on Facebook that suppose to let us know about these happenings? Nope. There are billion-dollar industries no longer farming but doing research. Making its own citizen sick and poisoning the land that grows our food. Not even assisting the families whose lives are negatively effected from their products and profits.

So you say, this isn’t affecting me, what if coffee and salmon leave, I could have tea or opt to put something else on my bagel in the morning. But what about if the same thing happens to our air, our food, or our water.  There are no alternatives to these necessities in our lives. It’s a harsh reality but a reality indeed if we continue on the path of earthly destruction.

Photo Jan 25, 6 59 59 PM

Volunteer Coordinator Marina Rossow

We are all related to this, and it’s imperative that we see that what we breathe, drink, and live on as a resource. We need it.  It is very important that we are all aware of what is going on around us. Connecting with environmental organizations helps you stay informed about local environmental issues and let you know how you can help.

I had a fun time learning and meeting like-minded people who care to be responsible stewards of the earth at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival. I look forward to the next event that can give me more call to action for helping me local surrounding. To stay up to date with issues affecting the greater Houston Region sign-up for newsletters from the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition.