I spent some time in Chicago today and the view was unbeatable.
Did you know that the flow of the Chicago river was reversed? In 1889, the pollution was so significant that the river, which naturally flows into Lake Michigan, was reversed through dredging and a series of locks, so pollutants flowed inland to be treated rather than into the lake. The project was completed in 1900.
Our impact on our surroundings is not insignificant. As a single human being, I may think my footprint is small, but relative to the other things around me, I leave a big impact. So much so that when a group of us get together and decide to stay...well...things happen.