One of my former teammates once dubbed me the "Eco Ruckman", because I hassled everyone about using keep cups and separating their rubbish into the right bins. I wore the title with pride.
I did so because it is important to me that my two-year-old son and three-week-old twins see me caring about their future and wanting them to have a healthy environment to grow up in.
It breaks my heart that my children might not get to see the same natural wonders of the world that I've been fortunate enough to see in my lifetime.
Myself and my wife Chloe, who both grew up in Queensland, have always been passionate about the climate and the environment.
Chloe would typically spend two weeks each year visiting and diving on the stunning Great Barrier Reef - and she has seen it become increasingly damaged after consecutive mass bleaching events, caused by a warming ocean.
We spend most of our family holidays surrounded by nature.
The science is unequivocal: climate change is real and it's affecting all of us. We need to take urgent action to help protect the places we loved as children and ensure the survival of our natural world for future generations.
As sportspeople, we are fortunate enough to have a platform where we can talk about and shine a light on the things we care about. I consider myself very lucky to have been given this opportunity, and hope it encourages this important conversation to continue.
The impact that climate change is having on us here in Australia is unignorable. In just a few years we have endured devastating fires, droughts and floods. It feels like I've lived through too many "once in 50 years" events for a 30-year-old.
We've already seen the impact it has had on sports. The Australian Open has been unplayable at times due to extreme heat. We've had air quality so poor that AFL teams could not train nor play due to smoke during the Black Summer bushfires in 2020. Community sports fields are becoming increasingly hard to maintain because of drought.
Climate change will continue to affect sport throughout Australia if we do nothing.
But for me, it has been heartening to see that so many athletes and AFL/AFLW players care deeply about tackling climate change.
Over 180 of my colleagues signed on to "The Cool Down" in late August, a campaign and open letter calling for Australia to at least halve our emissions by 2030 and get to net zero before 2050.
Then I was proud to join AFL Players for Climate Action, which launched last month and is a group started by players who want to see change.
It is incredible to be connected with other players who care about our planet and who are striving to safeguard our game for the future; although it's a shame that this group needs to exist due to the lack of leadership and action taken by our government.
It feels like climate is the Morrison government's big elephant in the room. A long laboured commitment to net zero by 2050 and a poor showing at the COP26 climate conference isn't helping this image.
For me, the fact that there are already solutions at hand makes this extremely frustrating.
Australia is beautiful. It's sunny, windy and hot. We have incredible renewable energy resources we can tap into, and the technology is already here. We just need to value and embrace it.
The federal government has clearly been driven by the economy in the past, but there are ways to make money, stimulate the economy and create jobs in a way that can help the Earth through clean, renewable energy.
It's time for our government to lead. To make us a world leader in protecting our planet - for us, our children and their futures. We need to set more ambitious targets and strive for a zero-carbon future as quickly as possible.
But if our government chooses not to, it's up to the people of Australia to demand better.
Together, as a team, we can all call for change and real leadership, so a better future and a healthy environment is left for us and our kids to enjoy.
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