Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
– Harriet Tubman
Here are three memories from backpacking trips in the virgin wilderness of the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia:
- Finding peace and perspective at the top of Mount St. Helens in the breaking dawn, after climbing through the night beneath the full moon
- Watching the concentric circles ripple outward from my hand as I drink from pure, ice-cold Clearwater Lake
- Staring from my sleeping bag in awe into the immensity of the night sky and the infinitude of stars
These experiences and other moments in nature inspire my passion for environmental activism. As a teenager, I have organized park and beach clean-ups; championed recycling and waste reduction, and joined in climate-related marches and strikes from high school. But the severity and complexity of the global threats to our ecosystems have led me beyond protesting and making demands. I want to learn more about hopeful strategies for restoring our planet and share this knowledge with others so that they also may be inspired and choose to help.
One Blue Earth
I launched One Blue Earth as a platform for change, and to be a bridge between research and action. One Blue Earth seeks to raise public awareness about the consequences of global warming and to educate our communities about current scientific and grass-roots efforts to develop workable solutions to mitigate and reverse climate change. Our goal is to spotlight and partner with specific projects. In our fundraising campaigns, we ask for individual donations of only $1 to encourage more democratic and inclusive participation. The number of people we can motivate to contribute is as important as the amounts we raise. One dollar per person may seem like a drop, but together we can make an ocean.
Spotlight on Soil Regeneration
One Blue Earth’s first and current project highlights the benefits of soil regeneration through regenerative agriculture. The quality of our soils impacts the food we eat, the nutrients our natural ecosystems need, the air we breathe, and the climate that sustains our planet. Regenerative agricultural practices can improve soil health and enhance carbon sequestration, which in turn increases biodiversity, crop yield, and food nutritional quality, and helps slow climate change.
To raise awareness about the promise of modern soil biology and holistic farming, One Blue Earth is conducting a fundraising campaign in support of Kiss the Ground, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization on a mission to awaken people to the possibilities and benefits of soil regeneration and regenerative agriculture through media, education, and advocacy. Kiss the Ground’s award-winning documentary film explores this growing movement. Narrated by Woody Harrelson, the movie is currently available on Netflix and Vimeo and as an educational version for teachers, schools, and community organizers.
If you’d like to support One Blue Earth’s effort to highlight the importance of restoring our Earth’s soils, we welcome your participation in our fundraiser and your sharing this information with your social networks. All donations made through One Blue Earth’s website for this project flow directly without deduction to Kiss the Ground. You can learn more about soil regeneration on One Blue Earth’s educational resources page and in Kiss the Ground’s video and resource libraries, which include information on soil science.
Since embarking on this One Blue Earth adventure, I’ve met, learned from, and been inspired by experts and activists in different fields related to climate change and environmental sustainability — from professors at Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley, to students, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and other professionals. One Blue Earth is currently developing a podcast series that will feature interviews with these environmental heroes and changemakers. We want to make available a library of informative discussions that will showcase our guests’ work and the possibilities for hope and positive action. We also want to explore the paths that led our interviewees to their respective vocations and projects. And we will seek their advice to young people who are considering academic studies or careers related to the environment, or who are interested in learning more about how they can participate in climate change solutions.
One Blue Earth is currently researching and developing other spotlight programs. Potential near-term projects may focus on the lungs of our planet: our oceans and forests. We are also open to collaboration with other groups and organizations. For example, One Blue Earth is helping launch the H.E.R.I. – Kenya initiative to educate and empower scientists, community members, and public officials to take action to improve environmental conditions and public health in Kenya. If you are interested in partnering with One Blue Earth to join forces for a common good, we would love to hear from you.
One Blue Earth Ambassadors
Becoming a One Blue Earth Ambassador means being part of an amazing community of like-minded peers and colleagues who support One Blue Earth’s mission. You may join as an individual or as a group (e.g., school club, environmental partner, or corporate sponsor), and all are welcome. Some Ambassadors can devote time and resources to promote and fundraise for One Blue Earth’s projects; others may have ideas or contacts to share. Together we contribute to a better tomorrow. The One Blue Earth Ambassador program seeks especially to educate students and young people about environmental issues and to equip them with tools to make a difference in their communities. Developing the skills of an activist can be useful in many areas throughout life. We support our Ambassadors with promotion and fundraising tips, educational and strategic workshops, information about research, internship and volunteer opportunities, and other resources. We plan to make our resources available in multiple languages to increase the scope of our educational outreach.
One Voice Multiplied
Great things are done by a series of small things brought together. — Vincent van Gogh
Picture in your mind your favorite Van Gogh landscape painting. Imagine the vibrant colors swirling; feel the power of the artist’s emotional embrace of his world. If you look closer, you’ll see that the image is constructed of bold, organized, individual paint strokes that unite in harmony and beauty. Through his singular art, Van Gogh re-energizes our appreciation of nature and teaches an important lesson: small efforts undertaken with passion and in concert with others can create something bigger, and more powerful and beautiful, than the individual parts.
Sometimes in the face of the environmental crisis endangering our one blue Earth, I feel small and insignificant. What can I do? I am just a teenager in high school; my time and attention are consumed by homework, exams, planning for college. I am only one voice.
But then I remember the mountaintop, the lake and the stars, and Van Gogh, and I think of the promising work of so many scientists and activists, and I find the courage to dream again. I choose to help. The environmental challenges we now face, and that my generation will inherit, are alarming and daunting. But I am hopeful about what we can achieve together. Our singular voices can combine into a mighty chorus for change that asks hard questions, shares helpful ideas and encouragement, and celebrates the miracle of our world and our creativity. Our individual small actions brought together will accomplish great things.
We invite you to share in the mission of One Blue Earth and be a part of supporting solutions to climate change. If you’d like to receive updates about One Blue Earth’s work, please subscribe to our mailing list at oneblueearth.com. We also welcome you to join us as a One Blue Earth Ambassador. And we’d love to connect with you if you’re interested in collaborating on a project or have ideas for how One Blue Earth can amplify its message and impact. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elena Bouldin is the founder of One Blue Earth. She is a 16-year old junior at Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California, where she is pursuing the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. Born in Barcelona, Spain to a Spanish mother and American father, she moved to the U.S. with her family in 2018. When she’s not advocating for the environment, she enjoys playing piano, writing poetry, laughing with her friends, and exploring the natural beauty of the San Francisco Bay Area.