I am an environmental activist in my own special way. Media often presents environmental activists as people with dreadlocks, clothes out of organic cotton and jute pouches. Treehuggers, pacifists and nut jobs. Sure, there are really people like that, but most of us are actually rather average.
Who did I get into this? Well, I grew up on the countryside. As children we played in dirt, climbed tree and sat on hayballs. When I was hungry I could just pluck a few plums from the next plum tree and I got a tummy ache more than one time because we stuffed ourselves with too many cherries. In elementary school I tried to cultivate some vegetables (I’ve never seen such little carrots) and until I was 22 and moved to the States I never bought ground beef in a store, for we only consume the one out of domestic production by relatives. Only since I moved to a city and had contact to city people do I know how privileged I actually grew up. Even today I still love being outdoors, hiking and eating fresh apples right from the tree in our garden. You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.
Unfortunately is the environment that I love so much suffering a change. I thought long and hard how I could contribute my share to maybe at least make a little impact to the better. I couldn’t donate money and for I change between countryside and city because of university a local commitment wouldn’t have made much sense. So what could I do? I always believed that the greatest power lies in information, education and words and for I speak English fluently I decided to look for a job as volunteer translator. I can do it from everywhere, all I need is a little bit of time, my laptop and internet access.
So the search for the right organisation began: some where too extreme to my taste, some too specialized. Finally, I stumbled across the Ian Somerhalder Foundation. A relatively young foundation, which represents my opinions and feelings in very many aspects. I have been member of the German Translations Team for about a year now and during this time I learned very much, got to know amazing people and translated about 40 entries. Some of the articles and stories hurt me, some make my smile and most of them make me ponder.
My volunteer work became so much my second nature, so granted that I realized only recently: yup. I am an environmental activist, too.
It doesn’t always have to be actual commitment, but informing oneself a little bit and changing one’s habits a little bit here and there might save a tree, a creature or a child. Please feel free to visit us: Ian Somerhalder Foundation