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.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Climate March Update #4

Fantastic news: I am 83% of the way to my goal! I am only $63 away from the $3,800 mark — the cost of my marching expenses. After that, the remaining $700 will go toward my plane ticket, equipment, and emergency expenditures while I'm on the march.

Please, once I have reached the $3,800 mark, do not give any more donations on my fundraising site. Donations given online go directly to the Climate March, so you would be overpaying them. 

You can find my fundraising site, which lists all my donors and a progress bar, here.

More great news: The Climate March had a very successful start in Wilmington, CA on March 1st. Over 1,000 people turned out to the rally! The marchers have recently left California and entered Arizona, and the next big rally will be in Phoenix, AZ on April 7th. The mayor of Tucson, AZ has declared April 8th as Climate Action Day in honor the Climate March. I cannot wait to join the march in Taos, New Mexico on May 25th! 

I would like to recognize and thank all of my awesome sponsors. A special thanks to Heron Hill Winery on Seneca Lake for a very generous $10/day sponsorship! Click on the names in the list to check out their websites.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Letter to Gov. Cuomo — LPG Facilities on Seneca Lake

I grew up in the Finger Lakes Region in Geneva, which is at the north end of Seneca Lake. A company called Crestwood (formerly Inergy) has proposed an expansion of liquefied petroleum gas storage in the old salt mines on the Western shore of the lake near Watkins Glen (on the south end of the lake).

Not only are these facilities incredibly dangerous, with potential for leaks and explosions, but Crestwood has plans to transform my home into the "gas storage and transportation hub [of] the Northeast," threatening the health of our tourism and wine industries, which are deeply intertwined. The last time I checked, open brine pits, a flame stack, noise pollution, and increased truck and train traffic are not appealing to the tourists that our region relies upon so much.

Furthermore, this project would only provide 8–10 permanent jobs (not for locals), whereas Hazlitt 1852 vineyards alone employs about 60 people (keep in mind this is one of our many wineries on Seneca Lake).

Over my spring break, I attended a public forum organized by Gas Free Seneca about this issue in Watkins Glen called "Seneca in the Balance" on March 11th. At this forum, local businesspeople, scientists, legal experts, health experts, local officials, and activists all spoke, and every one of them, despite their varying backgrounds and ideologies, agreed that this project would be terrible for Seneca Lake and the 100,000+ who rely upon it for drinking water.

At the forum, pre-written letters to send to Governor Cuomo were distributed for attendees to sign and return to be sent in. I filled out one of these letters, but I wanted to write a more personal one that told my story as a lifetime resident of the Finger Lakes Region. I have sent in that second letter, and I wanted to share it with you hear.

After the letter I will include information on how you can help this cause and learn more about it.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Comment sent to Secretary of State John Kerry

The following is a comment I submitted to John Kerry, who will be advising President Obama on his decision about Keystone XL. I wrote this shortly after I returned home from D.C. I was sending out a pre-written message to Secretary Kerry through an activist organization, and there was an option to add in my own words. I ended up writing a small letter while the inspiration from XL Dissent was still coursing through me.

The deadline for the final comment period on KXL was March 7th. According to, over 2 million people submitted comments opposing KXL, outnumbering supporters 2 to 1.

I wanted to share my message to John Kerry with you. Here it is:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Arrested for the First Time at XL Dissent

 “Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it.”
― Howard Zinn

** This blog post and my action of civil disobedience are dedicated to the amazing people who took the first steps in a very long walk on March 1st in the Great March for Climate Action. Good luck to all of you and I can't wait to join you in New Mexico in May. The next time I will be in Washington, D.C. will be in November after walking 2,000 miles to get there. If you are interested in helping me on my cross-country journey, email me at You can donate online at anytime here.   

**This also happens to be my 100th post on Viridorari :) I also recently reached 10,000 views. Thank you everyone! 

It felt like a dream as I pulled up to the quaint house tucked away in a lovely neighborhood in Columbia, Maryland. A little over a half a year earlier I had pulled out of that same driveway and began a long six hour drive home by myself, saddened by the idea that I might never see my new friends again. But here I was, showing up at four in the morning with little more than a week's notice with two fellow travelers peering with sleepy eyes out the windshield at the front door of the house.  

I turned off the car and we gathered our things. As we approached the front door Ron opened it for us. We had called them a half an hour ago at their request so that they could be awake to greet us at this ungodly hour. I gave Ron a huge hug, and I would have given RoseMarie one too, but she politely declined because she was sick and didn't want me to catch whatever she had. I introduced them to Katharine and Bill, who originally got in touch with me over an online ride board.

RoseMarie quickly transformed into super-host, showing us to our rooms, providing us with snacks she had prepared specially for our arrival, and asking us what we wanted for breakfast in the morning. She had even put out three different colored sets of towels in the bathroom, one for each of us to choose from. Ron gave us maps and pamphlets to help with navigating the city. Katharine gave me an astonished look that said: "Wow, you weren't kidding when you said they were amazing!"

After driving for a little over five hours straight after a full day of class and work, the guest bed felt like a cloud. But I couldn't fall asleep for almost another half hour; I was too excited. When I woke up in just a few hours I would be heading into Washington, D.C. to be arrested in a peaceful protest.