Yes I was bummed that I wasn’t able to finish the Tahoe Rim Trail a few weeks ago, but the following 5 days provided such a boost of inspiration that I was able to quickly move past that disappointment and get over myself. There are so many more important things to spend time worrying about than my gimpy feet. (Update: my right shin is still sore, and after a visit to a podiatrist learned that my left foot has structural issues and I’ll be wearing a custom orthotic to mitigate that kind of pain again!)
I was immersed in the Patagonia Tools Conference. If you aren’t aware, the clothing company Patagonia has extremely strong environmental roots and ethics, and has been providing grants to nonprofits involved in a variety of conservation issues for years. This is a company that puts their money to good work, and if you pay more for your puffy, it’s probably because it’s sustainably sourced, fair trade, and a portion of the profits supports some local organization in your community. This year they granted over 800 different organziations funds to support their campaigns, and 80 of us showed up on the shores of Fallen Leaf Lake to learn some best practicies from professionals in the field.
Everything was covered from campaign strategy to communication tactics, fundraising to lobbying, and we dove in to the nitty gritty of how to be effective in challenging times like these. What I came away with was a renewed sense that we CAN make a difference no matter what is going on at the federal level…in fact some of the most successful environmental work is done locally.
I also walked away awed at the work being done around the country by those in the room with me.
One particularly moving plea for help came from Bernadette Demientieff of the Gwich’in Nation in the Artic Circle. Patagonia made a film about the threats to this region of the world and the people who have called it home for many thousands of years.
A bill is due to hit the Senate floor in the coming weeks, after the Senate returns from a weeklong recess on Oct. 16.
I’m not really thinking about my feet anymore…and this is just one issue out there, what’s happening in your neighborhood?