“YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip”— Dealing with Environmental Threats

“YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip”

 Dealing with Environmental Threats

 Amos Lassen

Mark Dixon, Ben Evans and Julie Dingman are environmentalists and they turned their lives upside down, pooled their financial resources and set out on a 50 state, yearlong adventure and journey to discover if they were doomed. The idea of a planet in crisis is what they answered to so they took to the road because they felt that an impending catastrophe was heading our way. They traveled with hope, humor and all of their garbage as well as picking up garbage they saw along the way. They discovered environmental challenges along the way as they searched for innovators and courageous people who were willing to save the planet.

We see the reality of things happening all around us yet the movie stays positive throughout while being positive. There was none of the gloom we usually hear when talking about the environment. They said what had to be said, did what had to be and moved on. The film has great humor but it also had a lot of emotion.

One of the ideas suggested and actually seen in the film is the practice of keeping all garbage for one year in a box and the movie actually makes you want to do so. I found myself even more aware of environmental problems that I thought I knew so much about. The film is a hootenanny for the environment and I love that as much as the film is universal, it is also personal. The trio becomes our friends during the time they are on the screen and what great friends they are!

Some of the environmental concerns we see here are Appalachian mountaintop removal, Alaska permafrost melt, and post-Katrina wetlands habitat destruction, southwest water depletion. We get to meet problem-solvers who work at restoring perennial prairie grasses or cycling animals through pasture to build soil, and growing plants and fish to feed the city.

As we watch, we laugh, we cry, we become concerned and I know I became really concerned. I want to know why what we see here is not being done and where it is being done, why wasn’t that so years ago. Some of what we see seems to be so simple. We gain a sense of hope seeing that there are those who really do care and they help to make a difference in the world. And now I am going to start caring even more.

Leave a Reply