Our carbon footprint

A new SN&R section designed to inspire, empower and engage

Jennifer Davidson is a CSUS graduate with a degree in biological sciences and a relentless desire to share her passion for the environment and the natural world.

NEXT WEEK’S TOPIC: Bike-commute month

When I was a little girl, I always wanted to pick the beautiful flowers I saw, but my dad never let me. Over the years, he patiently repeated what my daughter now mimics before I even say it. “Imagine what it would look like if everyone took just one?” He taught me how to love my memories without having to take something with me. There is something very beautiful in that lesson. Even though I knew the flowers wouldn’t last forever, I learned that I had the power to preserve them for someone else to appreciate as much as I did.

And so I’d walk away and, like the old adage says, leave only my footprints.

Sustainability, in its mastered form, means that we preserve more than merely life, but quality of life for human civilization and the natural world. As we begin our journey toward sustainability, SN&R’s new weekly Green Days section will concentrate on exploring the basic building blocks of eco-living from a personal and community standpoint. We’ll offer practical advice, but also will examine larger elements, such as conservation and preservation of biodiversity, habitat and open space, population growth and Earth’s capacity, and governing our resources with intelligence and respect. We’ll look at how we can engage in sustainable practices in our homes and businesses, grassroots efforts, appreciation for the natural world, and unique approaches to happiness and reducing stress in our personal lives. Collectively, these elements form the road map to redefine and preserve a quality of life for generations to come, be they human, furry, feathered, scaly, finned or rooted firmly in the ground.

You’ll be inspired by people in our community who add ingenuity to the fire in their bellies to fight the destruction of our natural environment and make sustainability possible around the world. You’ll learn about local, innovative green projects and organizations, and how you can get involved. We’ll share great books to read. We’ll bring you top-10 lists. Sometimes, we’ll set the stage for a light and fun eco-friendly experience. Other times, we’ll carve out deep and thought-provoking material. In a nutshell, Green Days is designed to inspire, empower and engage.

I feel very fortunate to have been asked to help bring Green Days to life. It’s a wonderful blend for me as an eternal student in pursuit of the simplified, quality life. I know many of you are, too. So if you have a great story to tell or know someone who is making a difference, please write me at <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"> </script> . If there’s a topic you’d love to see covered, send it in. If you have a question, it’ll be answered in our new Ask a Treehugger column. We’ll be welcoming contributing writers, too—send in your ideas!

So welcome to Green Days. It’ll be an opportunity to learn how to leave footprints that are easily washed away, like those lapped up by the beach’s surf, so when someone else walks your same path, they see nothing but their own footprints, as though they are the first ones there.