New issue on the stands!
In the weeks before we went to press, young activists had thrown tomato soup on Van Gogh’s iconic Sunflowers (followed by a similar act involving mashed potatoes against a work by Monet). Social media lit up with takes ranging from accolades to outrage. Regardless of what side you’re on, let’s take particular note of the age of these activists — just a year or two removed from their teens.
For many years at my children’s elementary school, I facilitated an eco-committee. Students led our group, choosing projects to tackle based on problems they identified — too much lunch garbage, for instance. When I felt defeated at the lack of progress world leaders were making on climate issues, these kids never failed to get me back on my feet to help them fight for the world they deserved. After all, this was their future. They had a lot more to lose than I.
On page 64 of this issue, you’ll meet our Local Hero Annabelle Brothers — who’s part of our newly launched Bluedot Institute. From the first conception of Bluedot, founder Vicki Riskin knew that she wanted young people to be part of the work we’re doing. The Institute, a non-profit, has partnered with schools around the country, including Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, where Annabelle is a student. Annabelle’s enthusiasm for the environmental projects she and her classmates are tackling underscores the Institute’s work to bring students and their teachers from across the country and around the world together to share solutions, learn from each other, cheer each other on, and report back to Bluedot readers.
Also in this issue, Kyra Steck, a former intern with Bluedot Living, shares how Indigenous people have been urging us to pay attention — to their traditional ecological knowledge but also to their current voices. “In order to really get people’s total and true buy-in, there needs to be an effort to ensure Native people will survive it as well,” Jonathan Perry, a tribal council member for the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, told Kyra.
There are many ways that people who are historically dismissed — young people, Indigenous people — ask others to stand in solidarity with them, to help foster change. However we judge the soup-throwing activists’ approach, they are demanding that we pay attention. We owe them nothing less.
Some Bluedot updates:
Important: Due to changes in our email platforms, all newsletter readers (there are now more than 10,000 of you!) will need to confirm their email addresses here to continue receiving our biweekly Sunday newsletter.
Come on in to Bluedot Kitchen, a weekly newsletter that will serve up delicious, healthy, planet-friendly recipes, along with tips on savvy shopping, storing, and food prep. Sign up now, and look for it in 2023.
We also want to welcome another new member of the Bluedot family. Bluedot Brooklyn will share local news about green goings-on plus eco-conscious businesses, advice, recipes, and all you’ve come to expect from Bluedot Living. The website and a biweekly newsletter launch in the next couple weeks; you’ll be able to find it at brooklyn.bluedotliving.com
And finally, The Bluedot Institute will host dispatches from our cub reporters at high schools all over the country by year’s end at bluedot-institute.org.
–Leslie Garrett (and Jamie Kageleiry)