Leaving Green Footprints: A New Mission (Well, sort of)

Sorry for the lapse in posting! It’s been a busy January! I want to kick off the year by re-focusing on the mission statement for Green Footprints. I’ll start by thanking everyone who has donated so far—William Muench, Richard Holtham, KP McClanahan, Scott Byington, Connor Hughes, Sandra Reed, Mike O’Brien, Wendy Allred, Jessica Parker, Jacqueline Brewer, Julie Price, Rick Freeman, Jennie Bond, Sara Daehn, Leslie Roddam, Margaret Myers, and Diana Statler—you all rock! The fundraiser has been set up exclusively to cover the cost of the trees, which rather than being donated, are being purchased from organizations such as the Arbor Day Foundation and state and local nurseries in order to monetarily support efforts to re-forest our beautiful country. All other costs associated with the project I am covering myself. As it stands today, $375 towards the $2,500 goal has been raised. I encourage everyone reading this to pick three people that you think might be interested in Green Footprint’s mission and send them a personal email with a link to the project! Gofundme.com/greenfootprints . With your help, I know we can make it happen. Since the winter has set in and the weather isn’t optimal for planting trees, I’ll be using the next month or two to catch up the blog with everything Green Footprints has accomplished to date. But first, I’d like to address an interesting observation I’ve noticed as a result of current events.

With the recent actions taken by our new government administration, especially the gag order and freezes fettering the EPA, Green Footprints has taken on a role I did not anticipate when I sunk my shovel into the ground for the first time back in August. Projects such as this are becoming increasingly important in the fight to preserve our country’s and our world’s natural splendor; indeed, they are almost a rebellion against the precedents the current administration are attempting to set. The environment, in my eyes, is not something to be monetized at the expense of its health. Speaking equally as a concerned citizen, activist for the environment, and as someone who has conducted scientific research in ecology for a government agency, I can say that the only thing that will be accomplished from attempting to de-fund and ignore research because the findings are inconvenient for certain industries and agendas will only serve to increase the already heavy burden on future generations. Science is, by nature, inquiry. Inquiry is driven by curiosity, a desire to understand the world around us. Without curiosity and inquiry, our capacity to learn screeches to a halt. And when we cease to learn new things, our ability to improve—in any arena—goes with it. I spent most of my time in college training to be a scientist. Although I’m not doing research right now (but plan to at some point in the future), I still have that insatiable drive to add to my knowledge of everything I’m passionate about, and even about things I’m not super passionate about. When we refuse information, we are depriving ourselves of the ability to make the best decisions. And I’m no politician, but I’m pretty sure it’s the governments job to make the best decisions they can about everyone in this country.

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Science—and, even more simply, information—should not be a partisan issue. It is dangerously irresponsible to ignore or refuse information because you do not like what it says. Although the government can implement policies that make it harder to stay objectively informed about whatever issues you care the most about, we will not stop fighting for our passions. So if one of your passions is being threatened by some of the latest policies in our country, don’t worry. Keep fighting for what you believe in, in whatever way you can. Green Footprints started as my passion project, and has now transformed into my statement against what I see as steps in the wrong direction when it comes to national environmental policies.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on ways Green Footprints can expand its impact—feel free to comment below! I promise I’ll be less philosophical and more lighthearted later this week; stay tuned for updates about Turtle and I’s adventures in the northeast!

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