Claire Black: Snow Day (OGT Intergenerational Series - Essay #3)
At OneGreenThing, one of our goals is to stop talking AT younger generations and to encourage everyone to listen TO younger generations, from 20-something Millennials to Gen Z and Gen Alpha, the generations who will inherit the Earth. As part of our countdown to the release of our CEO & Founder Heather's debut book, One Green Thing: Discover Your Hidden Power to Help Save the Planet, we are releasing a series of essays by members of Gen Z. We are so grateful for their willingness to share their stories and lend their voices to the mission of "saving our sanity & the planet."
By Claire Black
When I was a kid, the chance of a snow day was what I dreamed about. It meant we didn't have to go to school, and we could bundle up to spend endless hours playing in it.
My brother and I had our plan mapped out to perfection: we would start sledding as the snow came down, no matter how bad the sledding was. This way when it froze overnight, our sledding tracks would be coated in ice and we'd shoot down the hills.
Growing up in North Carolina, snow accumulating more than a few inches was rare, but it typically happened about once or twice a year. My family is also from Ohio, and we were almost guaranteed to see snow when we visited in the winter.
If for nothing else, I love the snow because of its beauty. Everything is coated in white and almost seems to sparkle.
The last time it snowed more than an inch or two was in 2018. The morning after, my mom and I decided to find out what was at the very end of our neighborhood. We hiked through 8 inches of snow and ice down an abandoned field, and were stunned when we reached the bottom.
At the bottom of a hill, we found an old beat up shack next to a gorgeous frozen over pond. Everything was covered in snow, and I thought it was one of the prettiest things I had ever seen.
I have not seen snow like that in years.
It seems like snow simply does not exist anymore, at least not where I go. We visit Ohio every year, and this past visit I was wearing short sleeved shirts in December. I've even been to the Swiss Alps, and while it was colder on the mountain, the snow was barely a few inches deep in January. On the ground, it was in the 50’s.
There is something incredibly peaceful about sitting in the snow as it falls in sheets around you, and it is one of the times I have felt most connected to nature. I miss that feeling.
One of the reasons I am so invested in environmentalism is because I want to be able to see snow like that again. I want to be able to know that kids will be able to grow up with the same irreplaceable memories that I had as a child in the snow.
Knowing that I am doing my part by educating myself and the people around me helps me to calm my eco-anxiety. It might now seem like alot, but I know that if I remain environmentally conscious, I may be able to play in the snow again.