Article Last Updated: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 8:32pm
I recently participated in a program called EcoFlight. During this trip, I was given the opportunity to meet with wilderness advocates and policymakers as well as gain an aerial perspective on wilderness by riding in low-flying aircraft.
No single person will ever gain a true perspective of wilderness, seeing as we can’t be a tree or a rock or a mountain stream. However, the EcoFlight program got me one step closer to understanding it. Being physically above the beautiful landscapes didn’t make me feel better than wilderness. It made me feel obliged to it.
It’s unusual to gain the aerial perspective of wilderness as offered by EcoFlight. Being a college student, I don’t have tons of excess cash to spend frivolously, but EcoFlight offers these programs to students for free. Because I have had this experience, I feel like I have more momentum for promoting environmental causes, and I plan to use that drive.
It was mentioned at the end of the trip that we should try to write down as many feelings as possible before the initial excitement dissipated; what they didn’t realize was I will carry the excitement from that trip for the rest of my life.
It puzzles me that society gets so offended when someone, say, vandalizes a building, but when a logging company levels a forest, or an industry pollutes clean water, it’s OK because it’s ultimately all for the “betterment of humanity.” Breaking things is bad in our lives, yet we break natural systems every day by splitting them up, driving over them or getting rid of them completely. For someone like me, all of the damage we are doing to the Earth is overwhelming and sometimes seems unstoppable. During this trip, however, I met with individuals who felt the same way I do, and I saw what change they are enacting. It is possible to make a difference – the key is to find your niche, your one true passion, and work on fixing that small facet so other ambitious individuals can fix theirs.