I'm creating a little concept to be shared in front of my home in a neighborhood close to downtown Houston. It's just a simple idea, but I hope it will take root.
Inspired by the concept of the Little Free Library — an initiative that promotes free public book exchanges — I've put together a plan for a little free newsstand in front of my home called "Mother Nature News."
I will use an upcycled newsstand purchased on Etsy from Impact Racks, a store that specializes in refurbished news equipment, and fill it with materials from the Catholic Climate Covenant, Take Care of Texas and books about climate change that motivate and inspire me, such as The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times by Jane Goodall and Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World by Katharine Hayhoe.
I have applied for funding through two small grant programs — Roots and Shoots and Victory Noll — to help with the cost of the newsstand and the books.
The idea for "Mother Nature News" popped into my head when construction traffic and pollution from vehicles driving through my neighborhood became unbearable. My home is nearly 100 years old and I watch in dismay while homes similar in age to mine are destroyed by builders and developers. While I feel as if I am a quiet voice in a loud world (oil and gas money is everywhere in Houston), I hope this little idea will be a beacon of light that lets passersby know there is someone here who cares.
[Anne Walzel lives in Houston, Texas, and has been concerned about the health of the planet since childhood. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Northwestern University and is a professionally trained ballet and modern dancer. While the destruction of nature has always bothered her, her fury reached a tipping point in recent years and she resolved to stop staying silent. She loves dreaming up ways to make the world healthier and more beautiful and is looking forward to attending Notre Dame's Executive Master of Nonprofit Administration program in the future.]
Anne's front porch (Courtesy of Anne Walzel)