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My daughter and I were personally trained by Al Gore along with an amazing group of other likeminded activists to educate the public about climate change and what we can do to help.

By way of sharing my own climate journey, “An Inconvenient Truth” was the first time I recall realizing what is going on with our planet. Ironically, a few months prior to seeing the movie my husband and I were in Antarctica and found ourselves face to face with the writing on the wall. After spending a lot of time and money gearing up for the trip, instead of needing the heated socks I had bought, I found myself pushing up the sleeves of my expedition parka (even with fewer layers underneath than I had planned) and actually sweating.

Since then, I have continued to be moved by more and more things I have read, heard and seen with my own eyes about what is going on with our planet. Over the last year, our family has installed rooftop solar, bought local whenever we could, worked diligently to eradicate plastic from our home and cut our waste as much as possible — all with the goal of reducing our carbon footprint.

But every time I make the mistake of forgetting to pack my lunch and can’t help but notice the tremendous waste of a single fast casual meal, I realize our family’s reality check isn’t going to do much if we don’t spread awareness to the best of our ability. When I see our highways crowded by trucks delivering things we don’t really need, will use only once or will waste, I see the emissions that go along with them and are literally choking us. When I see more trees being cut to make way for yet another development of McMansions, I cringe because I realize we continue to destroy the earth that must sustain an ever-growing population. If we keep cutting the trees locally and rainforests abroad, we are slowly but surely killing our home.

I know these are not pleasant things to think about and they certainly aren’t easy problems to solve, but together we can first slow the damage then begin to repair what has been done.

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-Regan Sonnabend