BELA SCHULTZ

UNITED STATES

'Despite a worsening climate crisis, I never questioned if I would have children. Not having a child was a sacrifice I wasn’t willing to make – but how could I justify that decision as someone committed to addressing climate change? I found the answer when I became a big sister at the age of 20. I now have two brothers, ages 3 and 5, who do demand a lot – time, money, resources. But they also possess curious minds and malleable perspectives. My parents taught them the magic and mystery imbued in nature. Every pause in their days was taken outside, on walks through the woods and dips in cold mountain streams. One day, the 5 year old painstakingly explained microplastics in the ocean and how they hurt wildlife, and we talked about how avoiding plastic and sourcing locally are how to protect our fish friends. Children aren’t only vacuums for resources – they can be raised into intentional and educated actors who are forces for change. I know my future child will be.'