As the last days of 2012 draw to a close, I’m going to be posting a series of stories about people who are finding innovative solutions to environmental problems. These folks are thinking outside the box, taking risks and trying to make the world around them greener in new and unusual ways.
I’m calling them “Outside The Box Stars,” and in each story you’ll find a person or a group of people who are crafting a new approach to unresolved environmental issues.
I did a lot of brainstorming about who to include in this series. I came up with a long list of candidates among the people I’ve reported on in the past few years: Farmers who volunteer to monitor and reduce their own pesticide use beyond what the Clean Water Act requires, a nonprofit that supports strong runs of salmon instead of trying to save endangered ones, environmentalists trying to develop a sustainable logging business … the list went on and on.
I settled on six projects that involve Oregonians pushing the limits of what individuals can do to improve the environment. They include:
As you read their stories on Ecotrope this week, let me know if you think of any “Outside The Box Stars” in your world. I’ll use your ideas to build a list that will inspire us as we head into 2013.
Markese Bryant is an African-American activist who has used his own hip-hop music to appeal to a different demographic on environmental issues including green jobs. He made this video when he was a student at Morehouse College and got some traction with his fellow students: