Hazel Johnson is now known as the “mother of the environmental justice movement,” but back in 1979 she was a mother of seven children with respiratory and skin problems, and the widow of a husband who died from lung cancer a decade prior. Living in Altgeld Gardens on the South Side of Chicago, in a housing project that was surrounded by factories, landfills, industrial buildings, and sewage treatment plants, Johnson began to investigate the chronic health impacts on her community from surrounding air and water pollution. She learned that her family and her neighbors had been exposed to toxic fumes, asbestos, and contaminated drinking water, and that her community had the highest cancer rate in the city – leading her to call Altgeld Gardens “The Toxic Donut.”
Even though it’s now been two months since my trip to Chile (sorry for the blogging hiatus – moving to Chicago and starting a new job took over my life), I am still immensely grateful for my six-week adventure there. My last big adventure in Chile was to the Atacama Desert, which is the most arid place in the world (besides the poles), and receives the highest radiation and celestial exposure – which means it is very dry, the sun is extremely strong, and the stars are incredible. Even though I was there during a full moon, I could still see the Milky Way and thousands of stars filling every corner of the night sky. Continue reading “Chile Part 4: One Week North”
After an unintentional break from blogging, during which I graduated from college, I embarked on a six week trip to Chile. My mom and her family are Chilean, and since I´ve only been here once, I decided that now was the right time to rediscover my roots and explore the country for a few weeks. I´m now one week in, and wanted to share some of the things I´ve done and my overall impressions of this beautiful place so far.
Almost immediately after getting off the plane, I joined a huge family lunch of 15 people in total. We had a beautiful meal with food from Chiloe, cooked by my amazing aunt. It was such a gift to be surrounded by family who welcomed me to Chile, and to reunite with people I hadn´t seen since I was six years old! We spent the afternoon in typical Sunday style, eating, talking, and relaxing together. Continue reading “Chile Part 1: Family and Exploring the Big City”
We’ve all heard of Sylvia Earle, Rachel Carson, Gina McCarthy, and Jane Goodall, and there is no doubt that they are all heroines and role models to me. But there are so many more kick-ass women coming up in the ranks of environmental activism right now that I knew it would be amiss not to share my list. This is not comprehensive by any means – there are so many amazing women doing great things for the planet, known and unknown. But as a woman and as an environmentalist, here are ten incredible females that I am looking to for inspiration in this time of deep challenge and struggle: Continue reading “Top 10 Kick-Ass Female Environmentalists to Watch”
After spending the first week of our Brazilian vacation in Bahia, we headed to the interior of Brazil, deep into the Amazon. We flew at night to Manaus, Brazil’s westernmost large city and home to 2.5 million people, and all we could see on the way there was blackness. Even during the night, it was easy to tell how dense and enormous the Amazon was, despite the huge amount of deforestation that is going on. Continue reading “Making Friends in the Brazilian Amazon”
Last month, my family and I went on a two-week vacation to Brazil – not to see the Olympics, but to see my sister Laura, who was studying abroad in the city of Salvador, and to reconnect with a country we love, since we lived in Sao Paolo when I was very young. Continue reading “Bahia’s Beaches and Boulevards”
The lush green vines billow in the city breeze, muffled by the quiet roar of stamping feet and tourists’ conversations. The neat slices of sidewalk meld with the garden beds, tracing a line to the half-finished skyscrapers. The elevated walkway peers over the manicured streets, with glitzy shops and storefronts lighting up the avenue.
Twenty years ago, this place was sketchy during the day, and extremely dangerous at night. This is New York City’s Meatpacking District. This is the High Line.
As a 20-year-old woman who has traveled alone in Europe and in small groups through South America, Australia, Africa, and the Pacific, I promise it’s worth it. Traveling enriches your life in ways that greatly outweigh the slight hassles that come with transporting yourself overseas and leaving your daily life behind for a few days, weeks, or months. Seeing the world’s most beautiful places and experiencing cultures that are different from your own are privileges that many people will never have. And so here you are, about to embark on a fantastical journey to a far-off place you’ve never been, and you’ve been dreaming about the new sights, sounds, smells, and tastes for months. Don’t get me wrong, the world is your oyster, but there are a few things you should keep in mind as you travel: Continue reading “A Solo Woman’s Guide to Travel Safety”
Another great day in Paris! I started the day by going to Montsauris Park in the south of the city with Christina, another Conergy Solar Ambassador. We were there to see one of many art installations that have been put up around the city of Paris in conjuction with the climate talks. This one was titled “Where the Tides Ebb and Flow”, and featured many blue heads positioned in a curve, sticking up out of a pond, to represent the impact of rising sea levels on the human race. Continue reading “Day 3 at COP 21: Blue Heads and Murals”