Saving the world is an absolutely daunting task. These days, conservation and sustainability decisions are around every corner, whether it’s using re-useable grocery bags, turning off your lights when you leave a room, or buying an electric car. Some people are environmental champions. They incorporate green living into all facets of their life and set a positive example for others. The same is true for businesses and organizations that work hard to minimize their footprint by adjusting their energy and resource consumption. To anyone who has made an effort to readjust their life in honor of the environment, I applaud you. For those of you who are overwhelmed by saving the earth, I totally understand.
It’s a common, pessimistic opinion that one person cannot change the world. One person’s hybrid car will not offset global warming and one brown paper grocery bag will not empty a landfill. This used to be my opinion, until I moved back to Jackson Hole from New York City. In large cities, there’s a feeling of personal independence that prevents many people from believing that their actions impact the whole. In fact, convenience overrides individual responsibility–Why use and clean a travel mug when I can just throw away a to-go cup? Jackson Hole, however, truly emulates the principles of community and is celebrating champions of conservation and sustainability this year in the 2nd annual SHIFT Festival, which boasts a variety of events from October 8th-12th.
For those of you who feel overwhelmed by becoming a greener community member, The SHIFT Festival is your chance to make meaningful baby steps. And if you’re one of the environmental champions I previously mentioned, this is the perfect opportunity to engage with local community members in various discussions exploring the intersection of conservation with nature, culture, and adventure. SHIFT truly caters to all ages and interests; whether you’re a political activist, foodie, naturalist, or a beautiful combination of all three, SHIFT has an event that will inspire, educate, and inevitably spark productive conversation. For example, on October 11th (day 4), you could start your day at Elevated Grounds Coffeehouse to learn about the company’s sustainability efforts, attend the Tools for Tomorrow conservation campaign workshop, and then finish out the day at the TGR film screening at Center for the Arts.
SHIFT makes it clear that successful acts of conservation and sustainability are not just about minimizing environmental impact, but rather about celebrating the individuals that create positive change. I’m excited to attend several of these events and support the organizations and businesses that take their role in the community seriously. I may not be saving the whole world in a day, but awareness, education, and participation seem like a really productive place to start. Who’s with me?
Stay tuned for my inside look at SHIFT events and how they relate to sustainability efforts made by Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. For tickets and event information: http://shiftjh.org/