When the world came to a halt, the change in pace was palpable. The roads were quiet and cars did not cut through our neighborhoods. In the safety of this new silence, more families took to the streets on their bikes. At times, it seemed like a parade of colorful helmets, laughter and smiles as there were no distractions, no screen time, and no other commitments to fulfill.
In our own backyard, the Old Cutler Trail provides 13.5 miles of a path marked by beautiful trees, gorgeous homes, gardens, and places to stop for coffee and juices. Unfortunately, it is also a trail marked by trash: plastic water bottles laying about and garbage cans overflowing with single use cups.
What are the actions that we should be taking in this new year to ensure that our paradise remains exactly that? A place where we can be healthy and heal, physically and mentally, by the simplest of activities under a long canopy of trees?
Let’s start with the simplest of ways. By recognizing that all physical activity requires hydration. You can ditch the need for plastic water bottles and carry your reusable one instead.
I wish for us all much health and happiness in this new year. I wish for us to keep peddling away, forcing those driving to remain vigilant, and to make greener choices to ensure that paradise can be enjoyed by generations to come.
Small changes. Large impact. In a fight for green, we are all equal.
Carolina Ballas is a Palmetto Bay resident, mother of two, and local supporter of all things green and good. Photos by Carolina Ballas, Deering Estate & The People’s Dock