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Environment, Green Teens, Heather Flournoy

Which careers paths are most valuable to the environmental movement?

Mother Earth, painting by Anna Flournoy, 2008

My daughter is 16 and thinking about choosing a career. She is artistic and loves language and philosophy and music, art and writing. But she wants to make a difference, and has been agonizing over how to best accomplish her goals unless she becomes a scientist or doctor (both could help in her goal of teaching people how their environment impacts their health).   In 2008, I heard Andrew Revkin, former New York Times Dot Earth columnist, give a presentation to high-school teachers and staff about the future of the environmental movement.  The talk was interesting, but for me the the last few minutes were the most inspiring.  Mr. Revkin walked away from his PowerPoint presentation and said simply and passionately, “We need everyone.  The environmental movement has lots of scientists. We don’t need more proof that the planet is damaged.  What we need now are politicians to make legislative change; writers and filmmakers to spread the message;  sociologists  to understand what keeps people from changing; marketers to show us how to influence mass change.”

We need people to spread the message.

If you have students passionate about the environment, encourage it. If they aren’t good in math or science, it doesn’t matter. All talents are necessary. We  need everyone.

We need farmers.  We need engineers.  We need speakers. We need sociologists.  We need teachers.  We need builders.  We need fundraisers.  We need scientists. We need volunteers.  We need parents to teach their children a new paradigm.  We need people in technology.  We need people who give us hope. We need healers and counselors.  We need artists, filmmakers, writers, actors, musicians, and storytellers to spread the word about the rampant damage our society is inflicting on the planet, and encourage a mass behaviour change.

We all know that children are the future. Teachers and parents play a critical role in encouraging every child to be the part of the movement, to think broadly, to take part in creating a sustainable future in their own way. Encourage them in whatever direction their hearts and minds lead them. It’s their planet!

About Heather Flournoy

I am a writer, social media connoisseur, environmentalist and professional marketer. My personal blog is and my professional website is I love people's stories, and a passionate cultivator of connections, both for myself and helping others to connect. Tell me who you are, what your story is, and I'll tell you who you should talk to. In my own view, I know some of the most interesting, colorful and profound people in the world. You know who you are. Besides all the above, I am proud to say I am a working class single mother who raised a beautiful daughter. I connect deeply with animals, especially horses. I love music, coffee shops, farmer's markets, growing my own food, sustainable agriculture, broad thinkers, the healing arts, and dive diners.


2 thoughts on “Which careers paths are most valuable to the environmental movement?

  1. Great informative and inspiring post. My only issue is with that last sentence because, as strange sort of purist–no one owns the earth. So, no, it’s not ‘their’ planet even though it’s were they/we all live. Not nitpicking, it’s just that I’m paying more and more attention to the language we use in such contexts because of what our words reveal about our thinking/valures–per Hayden White.

    Posted by 47whitebuffalo | August 5, 2010, 11:01 am
  2. Excellent post, Heather.

    I believe that what we need is for our children to pursue what brings them joy. Then, they can infuse whatever that translates to with the values that we’ve passed to them.

    Thanks for your continued work in this field and for being a great mom. 🙂

    Posted by Heather Burns | August 5, 2010, 7:32 pm

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Who is Behind the Curtain?

Heather Flournoy is the main author, social media wiz, and community organizer behind KatonahGreen. Hover over the image for more information.

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