• Heather White

You Belong on the Mountain: Finding Your Space in the Climate Movement

My #OneGreenThing is remembering this adventure - climbing Mt Kilimanjaro 25 years ago. I was studying international environmental law in Nairobi. I boarded a bus to Arusha and started my climb.



Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. 1997. I'm in the green, of course!


I wasn’t a “climber” - I was a policy geek. Translation - not that fit. But Kili was a different kind of climb. It’s basically a walk up. The guides told us to go slowly to acclimate to the lack of oxygen at higher elevations. So we took it one step at a time, enjoyed the views, and relished the climb.


But here’s the thing - there was a group of ultra fit and beautiful British women in another group. They would always ask us how long it took us to get to the next hut. And then they made fun of us! Seriously. I remember one stunning hiker laughing at us and saying “Good God- I cannot believe how slow you are.”


I was shocked because we didn’t know them and why would they even care? As you can guess, we made it to Uhuru Peak.


On our way down, we learned none of gorgeous Brits reached the summit. Altitude sickness got them. They rushed to each hut but didn’t let their bodies adapt. As my momma would say, bless their hearts.


I remember thinking that some people think environmentalists have a similar attitude. One that makes people feel like you have to do it my way, or you don’t belong here because you don’t care enough, don’t know enough, or don’t understand the issues the way we do.


My colleagues in the environmental movement are nothing like this, but for many people there is a fear of doing sustainability wrong and being judged.


It’s so overwhelming, how do we even begin?


This is why I started @onegreenthing.


We need EVERYONE in the climate movement. Come as you are. Let’s identify your unique talents and gifts and create an action plan to be part of the movement.


We need you.


The snows of Kilimanjaro are much different than in 1997. It’s true we can’t take it slow when dealing with the #climatecrisis.


Most folks, though, aren’t sure where or how to start.


Join our community to learn how your actions can drive culture change for big climate policy and market solutions.


Start by taking our Service Superpower Assessment and signing up for our email newsletter!


#kilimanjaro#ecoanxiety#climateanxiety#genz#throwbackthursday