I'm addicted to Audible since my favorite form of exercise is taking very long walks. Yesterday, I walked through a golf course near my apartment. It was filled with starkly green trees sticking up stoically through the fresh snow, so I found it fitting to delve into Lab Girl by geobiologist, Hope Jahren. If you have never thought twice about a tree; if nature "isn't really your thing", read (or listen to) this book. It is phenomenal and surprisingly eloquent. Jahren's strikingly beautiful prose will change your mind toward our changing climate. What I love about this book, though, is that Jahren does not push her readers directly toward climate activism, she pushes her readers toward "climate-learning" first. 

I’m not saying we need to save the trees. I’m saying that we need to not overlook their capacity to save us. Put it in your yard and watch it for a while. And pick carefully because it’s hard to get a tree going. You know, if every seed turned into a plant, we’d be living in a very different world. So choose well and open your eyes and give it everything.
— Hope Jahren

After you finish Lab Girl, these are my five athletic suggestions - since this is a sports blog at heart - to continue your "climate-learning":

- Purchase an ALEX Bottle: Even if you have an extensive water bottle collection, you can make room for this beauty. The ALEX is a bottle that can open from the middle for easy cleaning and storage. It is also made from 100% BPA free non-toxic materials. What makes ALEX even better is that the company was founded by snowboarding icon, Gretchen Bleiler.

- Visit a "green" stadium: If you are traveling to the UK soon, consider visiting the "greenest grass in world football": The Forest Green Rovers. Though not yet built, the club chairman is hoping to build his club the first ever wooden stadium. For now, you can enjoy the existing stadium's all-vegan cuisine. Football watching without the guilt. What's not to like?

- Get inspired to SOLVE: SOLVE is an Oregonian "non-profit organization that brings together individuals, business groups, and service and conservation groups through volunteering and education to restore our natural spaces". One of SOLVE's biggest fans and hardest working volunteers is Mariel Zagunis: a saber fencer who has won olympic medals as well as world championships. 

What if you're inspired by SOLVE's mission but do not live in Oregon? Click HERE for conservancy volunteer opportunities in your state.

- Plunge Like a Polar Bear: Maybe this one shouldn't be tried at home, but, in the coming years, keep your eyes and ears on Lewis Pugh: a maritime lawyer and long distance swimmer who takes a "fins on" approach to Arctic conservation. To raise awareness for The Antarctica 2020 Campaign, Pugh makes a habit of swimming with icebergs in nothing but a Speedo. To hear more of his story, more of his mission, and more of what it feels like to literally almost freeze your fingers off, watch Pugh's inspiring (and very entertaining) TED Talk:

- Hike with Your Selfie Stick: Come on, I know that you have one. I sure do. Professional rock climber Sasha DeGuilian recommends that we use our selfie sticks to protect the landscapes that we enjoy. DeGuilian wrote for Outside:

Instead of simply acknowledging that there are problems in our world, we all need to take on the responsibility to stand against them. Social media will never single handedly solve any issues, but raising awareness is a big step forward. If you have an informed opinion about something, stand up for it and contribute to making our global community more harmonious.

Do you have climate-learning picks of your own? Let me know in the comment section below! 

Elise Matson1 Comment