Tuesday, 21 Mar 2000

DESTIN, Fla.

I wake up at first light, rested. The full moon is setting as the sun rises in a clear sky. From the third floor balcony of the rental house, a sea of rooftops gathers like tide pool critters between me and the ocean.

Casual meeting, big agenda.

I call Chris at the office to catch up on happenings from the day before. We are making final preparations for releasing a new report next week on the state of wasting and recycling in the United States. Lots of loose ends remain for press conferences in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, and for paper releases by activists in other cities. We discuss the most urgent needs. My to-do list doubles.

The forest meeting convenes again for the second and final day. The blinds are pulled all the way up to let in the bright sunlight. The walls gradually fill up with oversized flip chart sheets covered with bright magic marker scrawlings. The participating organizations all have somewhat different perspectives, circumstances, and goals relative to forest protection. Our agile facilitator skillfully guides us to areas of agree
ment.

Porpoise watching.

A discussion hits close to home on the merits of selecting campaign targets based on ecological imperatives, on what nature needs. Mike draws a diagram on the flip chart of the world, trees, a building (signifying forest products), and a person. I add a toilet at the bottom, signifying the wasting of two-thirds of paper fiber and a vast amount of lumber, making more cutting necessary. Someone suggests marches from clear-cut forests to landfills to raise public awareness. Jake throws out a slogan: “Stumps to Dumps!” It clicks.

After a hearty meal of basmati rice, sushi, and apple cobbler with tofu-sesame sauce, we relax on the beach and watch porpoises swim along shore as the sun sets. An energizing day.