Quiet Activism


Today is Blog Action Day, when over 7,000 bloggers unite to post on one single topic: Climate Change.


When Jessica Atcheson put out a call on SheWrites.com for fellow bloggers to participate in Blog Action Day, I’m not sure what drove me to sign up. I’m a cynic about most things political. I skirt TV campaign ads during critical races. I shy away from protests. I rarely sign petitions. Really, I am not an activist. Still, I clicked, I registered my blog, and I committed. Then, I thought, what do I know about climate change?

I wrote several drafts of a post and tried to come up with one grand idea that would mark the greatest effect on climate change. But, the same thought returned again and again: I am just one person. What effect can I possibly have on such a big issue? Then, I read an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel* about efforts to reseed wild rice beds in northern Wisconsin, and it struck me. I can be an activist even if I don’t pump a protest sign or throw my voice through a bull horn. I can stay on the grid, keep my car, and still affect change little by little.

In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Meg Jones reports that the Wisconsin Indian Wildlife Commission, Department of Natural Resources, various tribes and private individuals formed an alliance around 15 years ago. The group embarked on a mission to reseed old wild rice beds and restore some of Wisconsin’s natural habitats.

MJS wildrice 1 of hoffman.jpg wildriceEach year, wild rice seeds are tossed back into beds found in lakes and flowages. Some seeds rise back to the surface and are lost to the cause. But other seeds sink down into the rich, wet soil. They take root, grow, and flourish, providing food and attracting wildlife back into the area.

Reseeding is a quiet and slow process. It involves a canoe and two men. One man guides the canoe, while the other man sinks his hand into a bag, scoops out hundreds of seeds and commits them back into the water. A simple action that, in repetition, will produce a powerful effect on the climate.

I can’t afford to buy a smart car. Nor can I afford solar panels on my home or eco-toilets for my bathrooms. Still, in taking one action at a time, I can become a good steward of the environment.

Here are some ideas (and links to sites) for actions one person can take every day:

In good stewardship, one neighbor near our home refused to cut a dying tree down to its quick. Instead of erasing all evidence of the red oak tree’s existence, the homeowner transformed the remaining trunk into a visual reminder that nature’s spirit surrounds us.


We should pay more attention and do our part to take care of her. How will you be a good steward today?
For more information on ways you can become involved, check out the Partners working with the organizers of Blog Action Day 2009.


* Jones, Meg. “Reseeding Project Gets to Rice’s Historic Roots.” The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 5 October 2009. Web and print.


2 responses to “Quiet Activism

  1. I’m not an activist either (maybe writers would rather probe the thoughts and actions of activists!)

    I use cloth bags, natural cleaning products and keep my tires inflated. I *try* to keep the heat down, don’t always succeed. I always say I’m going to compost, and never have, maybe now is the time.

    • You’re right. I’d much rather sit back and observe the activists and then write about them 🙂 And, I too find it hard to keep the heat down. Last winter, we tried hard not to raise the thermometer too much and took to wearing – what we called – house hats: winter stocking caps…”I in my kerchief and ma in her cap….”

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