Last Christmas my grandparents gave me a pink nametag for a suitcase with no explanation, and that gift began my life changing adventure. At the beginning of the summer, my grandmother and grandfather took my sister and me to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. Our first destination was Bryce Canyon; this national park was persevered because of its magnificent rock formations. The park is full of amphitheaters, slot canyons, and most importantly, hoodoos. Hoodoos are shaped by wind and rain erosion, which causes the rocks to display multiple surface colors. On our vacation, we discovered the beauty of the hoodoos by taking a donkey ride down the many trails into the canyon. After our breathtaking adventure into the canyon, we hopped on the park shuttle and headed to our hotel to prepare for an evening full of sight seeing. Although we stopped at the “trading post” located next to our hotel. There was an abundant assortment of rocks, Indian made dream catchers, and postcards full of astonishing images of Bryce Canyon. As the evening came to an end, the sun began to set and the beauty of the west seemed to reflect off the beams of the sun to create an image of ultimate serenity over the whole canyon. This was a flawless way to end a perfect day.
The next morning, we rose to the sight of dew pasted on the window like frosting layered on a cake. After taking in the beauty of Bryce Canyon, we traveled 50 miles southwest to Zion National Park. When we arrived at Zion, we began our hike down the Virgin River. Summer sprung out of every plant and animal, the river was flowing at a steady pace, and the rocks were covered with spring sprouts of plants and yellow colored flowers. When we reached the enclosed part of the Virgin River, we stopped to absorb the beauty of the multicolored sandstone cliffs surrounding us. These sites were unbelievable, but when I looked to the left, I saw a piece of a Snickers’ wrapper and a plastic water bottle lying on the ground in the middle of Zion National Park. I knew I was in the heart of the West because the scenery was breath taking and the rock formations were unbelievable, but everywhere I went trash hid these breath-taking images. After this trip, I decided to start the three R’s: recycle, reuse, and reduce.
When I arrived back in Kansas, I explained how beautiful the West was, but how trash filled the land seemed. As soon as I told this story, my family and I jumped into action to begin recycling at our house. We recycled newspapers, milk jugs, and cardboard boxes. When we had leftovers, we reused plastic wrap. Our most energy efficient change was to reuse our towels, opposed to washing them after every single use. To help reduce our wastes, our family uses water bottles, opposed to plastic bottles. This also helps with the on going concern of global warming. We continue to recycle, reuse, and reduce to help make the Earth a better place for generations to come. This issue is gaining more attention, through the media and scientific discoveries, but more awareness is needed to help make a lasting transformation on the environment. The next time I travel to the west, I know I am doing what needs to be done to help improve the environment, and I am now ready to help everybody else make the world a better place.
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