Where do I start?

Where do I start? It is possibly the quintessential human question. It’s asked by every one of us—probably every day. Perhaps it is masked by longer or more specific wording, but it’s always there. Whether you’re sitting staring blankly at a computer screen before your first essay of your high school career or finishing your Masters and entering the job market, the question is the same. Where do I start?

And no, the answers don’t come quicker with age. At least not by 24. If you’re reading this and by 35 the question is irrelevant, please let me know. But I’ve seen people of all ages ask this question, so I feel pretty confident it continues. People so often respond to environmentalist messages with “okay, you’ve convinced me, we’ve got to do something. Now, where do I start?”

The problem with starting with this question is that it’s basically unanswerable; such a wide scope is nearly useless. To know where to start, you must know where you want to go and, quite frankly, no one knows what the destination—a sustainable world—will look like. Sure, we’ve got ideas, hints and leads, but nothing more. So let’s begin to narrow this question down. You’re on our blog, so either that means you’re here to troll or you at least have some interest in the environment and the environmental movement. Note: If you are here to troll I really don’t like the word ‘moist’ so try to use that as often as possible. But if you’re here out of interest, lets move on. Now, where do I start?

Well, as already stated, we start by narrowing down the question. Your destination is a sustainable world. Do you want to tackle our incredibly wasteful food system? Or perhaps our fossil fuel guzzling energy grid? A sustainable world will not be ushered in by one charismatic leader, but rather built piece by piece by thousands of leaders across the globe. So perhaps the real question should be, what excites you? And if you don’t know what excites you, then get out there. And yes, it is that easy. Young people are constantly told to just ‘get involved’, but they’re rarely given much instruction as to how. In this regard, I shall defer to 19th century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli who stated “History is made by those who show up”. But how does one ‘show up’? It is an excellent question, but where do I start?

How about here. 250 voices, one night. If ever there was a place to get acquainted with and then immersed in environmentalism, this is it. This Earth Day EcoMentors event is hosted by Simon Jackson, the founder and chairman of Spirit Bear Youth Coalition and one of Time Magazines Heroes of the Planet.Perhaps animal conservation isn’t your thing? The event includes 12 workshops to choose from. The selection ranges from green fashion to wolverine (protecting) passion, you’ll find something. And really that is what the goal should be. Where am I going? I’m not sure. Where am I headed? No clue. Where do I start? Now that, that I know.

By: Stefan Hostetter