Preservation, Things we don’t talk about everyday! By Cristina Hamilton

Environmental sustainability is the preserving of the environment and its resources. Three things I do that may threaten environmental sustainability are not using energy saving light bulbs, I notice another classmate that says she sends her old magazines to the local library for resale, I don’t recycle magazine and I sometimes through peppermints wrappers in the ground.

Today my mom and I purchased energy saver light bulbs and I am going to start sending my old magazines to the local library if I have that option here in Charlotte. I am also going to be more attentive when eating peppermints and through the wrappers in the trash can as oppose to littering.

I guess I might be included in that generation you mentioned because couldn’t imagine life without A/C or electricity. I do have a story that has made me learn to appreciate the environment,s natural resources. I grew up in Miami, Fl. I remember Hurricane Andrew came the end of summer ’93 just before I began my twelfth grade year. Though I had lived through various hurricane warnings and many tropical storms, we never really took it that serious when there was a Hurricane watch in Miami. Mainly because none had cause much damage.

I remember this day all to clearly we were driving back to Miami from New York, yes I said driving. We had to make a stop in Central Florida to pick up my father. When we got back on I-95 we noticed we were the only car traveling south toward Miami. We looked over to the opposite side cars were backed up for miles. My Dad finally said Oh yea I forgot to mention the Weather Man has reported a Hurricane warning for Miami and some parts have been evacuated. We all just kind of looked at him with a stare similar to the one Scooby gives to Shaggy when he doesn’t want to be the first to walk into the room where he knows the monster is lurking and waiting. We had come to far to turn back and we weren’t sure if we should continue towards home because who knows if our area was one that had been evacuated.

We continued home the weather was nice at that time and we hoped that maybe this was another false alarm. When we arrived our neighbors had secured our windows in the front of the house and came to help secure the rear ones. They told us that it was for sure that the Hurricane was headed our way. We all went out to the grocery stores searching for Hurricane supplies: bread, batteries, flashlights, and water. Those few items were hard to find many people had come before us and bought up everything. What we couldn’t find in the store or have at home the neighbors supplied it for us.

Later that night the Hurricane Andrew hit and wiped most of South Miami out. We lived on the North side our damages weren’t too bad. We were without electricity and missing a few shingles from the roof. I remember driving around on the streets the National Guard was posted on nearly every corner we were on a curfew because once the sun set, there was a blank of darkness that covered the city that caused it to disappear until the next sunrise. Neighborhoods that once were filled with nicely landscaped yards and homes now look like a war zone, many homes had no roofs, some were torn down completely I felt like a visitor in a foreign land.

I remember our nights being so hot, but we made it through. We sat up talking most of the night. During the day everyone would sit outside and cook out and drink water and if we could find ice and sodas we were lucky. We were without electricity for seven days. I remember bathing in cold showers because there was no hot water. Those times really made me appreciate electricity, hot water and the GRILL. Most importantly that natural disaster caused us to depend on Natural Resources we took for granted before, it even brought my family closer together.

“Failure is not an option”

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