Viridorari is an environmentally focused blog. The mission of Viridorari is to help you incorporate healthier, "greener" habits into your life, to benefit you, the people around you, and the environment.

I am walking in the Climate March from New Mexico to Washington D.C.! Stay tuned to Viridorari to read about my adventures! Also follow bluegirl3666 and climatemarch on Instagram for picture updates. Check out www.climatemarch.org

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Do humans cause climate change? Let's vote.

Our country is currently being shaken to its core with ongoing social rights issues, like racial profiling and police brutality, unequal treatment of women, gay marriage and immigration. Can you imagine what would happen if our representatives sat down to vote on whether homosexuals are born with their sexuality or if they choose it? Or what if there was a vote deciding that, despite hard numbers clearly demonstrating women are paid less than men for the same work, this was not actually the case?

The idea is absurd. Votes are supposed to be taken when deciding on a course of action, not on choosing reality... right?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

53 miles to Ithaca

I remember my first day on the Climate March like it was yesterday. I was dropped off at the Taos visitor's center where I was to meet up with the Marchers, who were arriving into the city from their day's walk. Hail was falling from an angry grey sky and the cold wind bit right through my clothes. I went inside the visitor center to take shelter while I waited.

...Then they fight, and then we win

*Originally published in The Ithacan on December 23rd, 2014

My lungs burned from climbing up the quarter mile of stairs, and the cold December air I inhaled soothed them momentarily, but then intensified the fire as I exhaled.

I smiled as I came around the corner of the gorge wall, the distant rumbling I had been hearing erupted into a gushing roar as Lucifer Falls came into sight. With a sigh I leaned against the icy wall of the trail, which wound along the cliff faces like Ithaca’s version of the Great Wall of China. The spray of Lucifer Falls that landed on the gorge walls froze in brilliant swirling ice sculptures, fashioned by the hand of nature herself. Thousands of feet below me, the water crashed into a lovely aquamarine pool, a chilly mist rising off the surface.

I took another deep breath, enjoying the sting of the frigid air. If things had gone as I planned this week, I’d be in jail right now, not enjoying a hike in Robert Treman State Park. The longer We Are Seneca Lake’s campaign to stop Crestwood Midstream’s ill-fated project to store methane along the lake’s western shore drags into the winter, the stranger our court proceedings get. Just two weeks ago, if I had gone before the judge, I’d surely be in the slammer.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Learning the Jails

I've never had much experience with jails. I was briefly introduced to a holding cell in Washington D.C.'s Anacostia police station in March of this year after refusing to move from the White House sidewalk while protesting the KXL Pipeline. I stood in there for ten minutes with five other female college students before I was processed and released.

However, I now find myself quickly becoming familiarized with the procedures and expectations of Schuyler, Chemung, and Yates County Jails as the We Are Seneca Lake civil disobedience campaign continues into December.

Friday, November 28, 2014

My First Vegan Thanksgiving

*The following was originally a letter to Sean, one of the amazing people on the Climate March who influenced me to become vegan. I realized after I finished the letter that it was great blog material. Enjoy!

Dear Sean,

Well, I did it. I survived my first family Thanksgiving as a vegan. Sometimes it was annoying. There were lots of head-smacking moments. But, overall, I found the experience to be rewarding.

Just for fun, I wanted to share the ridiculous moments with you. I think I'm going to keep an ongoing record of these. Some of them are just too good to be true.

1. (A few days before Thanksgiving)
Grandma: "I have no idea how to cook vegan!"
Neither do I. I've been using this thing called the world wide web to help. 

2. Grandpa: "Why did you go vegan? I don't understand."
Me: "I decided I didn't want to exploit animals anymore."
Grandpa: *shakes head and laughs* "People gotta eat, Faith."
That's funny. I haven't stopped eating. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Risky Business

"There it is," Doug announced as we pulled into the rail yard.

I wondered how many people drive by and mistake it for a snow drift. Some parts of the pile were even stained brown, much like how snow drifts get dirty as the winter goes on.

Large, fluffy flakes were falling from the pale grey sky. Although the snow wasn't sticking yet, the gravel that Doug's tires crunched over was already dusted in a layer of white. It was sand that coated the ground, much sharper and finer than the lovely puffs of water crystals descending from the heavens.

Doug pulled closer so I could take a picture. My phone clicked and the shutter closed, capturing the evidence.

"I can't believe it's just sitting out here in the open," I muttered. Doug pointed across the road.

"That's our city's premier family park. When the wind kicks up it blows over there."

As we fell silent again, I could feel the tension building. We were trespassing, after all. Our ruse of being lost tourists would only last so long. A freight truck had pulled into the rail yard ahead of us, and the driver must have noticed us by now.

It was now or never.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Obama, did you hear us knocking?

If you received word that there was a group of people walking 3,000 miles across the United States, and their end destination was your house, would you take the time to greet them when they arrived? If one of these cross-country adventurers wrote you a letter every day of this journey, describing to you in detail the lands she traveled through and the beautiful stories of the hundreds of people she met, would you write back to her?

Friday, October 31, 2014

When all else fails

When I was in Ohio and I called my dad to tell him I was coming home from the Climate March early, I was in a state of both sadness and disbelief. I couldn't believe that Houston-based Crestwood Midstream had received federal approval to store methane in salt caverns along Seneca Lake, my home, and I did not want to leave my March family. He assured me I was doing the right thing.

"You'll still be fighting the same fight."

Seneca Lake

I know he's right, but it's hard to believe that it is the same fight. The type of work and the mood of the situation here at home is entirely different from the Climate March. The March is addressing the broader issue of climate change, which encompasses gas storage on Seneca Lake along with hundreds of other projects around the country and the world. Our primary activity is walking and experiencing our world and the stories of the people living in it. It is our responsibility to bring the concerns, questions, hopes, dreams and prayers of the American citizenry to President Obama's doorstep.  We live in community, and we are constantly surrounded by love and friendship.

Back here in Upstate New York, the story is much different. Although I am making many new friends (none of them my age) and finding a place in a new community of inspiring people, the tone is more focused and serious. While the Climate March is mostly an awareness-raising, mind-awakening crusade across the country, the fight to save Seneca Lake is exactly that; a fight. A battle. We are waging a weaponless war.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Mom is Bartender — Social Stigmas & Climate Change

With a heavy heart, on October 10th I left the Climate March on the same day it crossed into Pennsylvania, and I returned home to New York. Recently, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved Texas-based company Crestwood Midstream's proposal to store methane in old salt caverns along the Western shore of Seneca Lake. This, I had told myself, would be the one situation that would draw me away from finishing the Climate March early. So, here I am.

I soon discovered that I was not only returning home to a lake in crisis, but also a mother in crisis.

My mom and I during her visit to the Climate March in Ohio

Two nights ago my heart was broken as my mom broke down in tears and sobbed in a panicky voice about the outside pressures she was feeling in her life.

Friday, October 3, 2014

First Amendment Rights Don’t Come First


The day after the largest climate march in history flooded the streets of New York City, a group of 3,000 impassioned citizens flooded Broadway outside the entrance of Wall Street, and a little over 100 of them were arrested after a long day of occupation. Five of the people arrested were my fellow Climate Marchers. 
Here are Marchers Sean Glenn and Mack McDonald, two of the five arrested

Marcher Kelsey Juliana carrying Simon, 6, on her shoulders during Flood Wall Street